A Registered Chapter of the Red Hat Society

Our First Year

April 26, 2003
Our First Event!

May 9, 2003
'Wear Your Hat Day' 

May 17, 2003
Scioto Downs

June 14, 2003
Red Hat Bash

July 19, 2003
BB Riverboats

August 13, 2003

September 6, 2203
Yankee Peddler

September 20, 2003
Morgan House

October 25, 2003
Area Chapter Tea

November 15, 2003
Biddies Coach House

December 6, 2003
Holiday Party

January 3, 2004
'Calendar Girl'

January 24, 2004
Scavenger Hunt

February 24, 2004
PJ Brunch

Pajama Brunch
February 21, 2004

Neighbors and motorists around Schiller Park must have thought it was strange to see ladies walking down the street in pajamas and robes. We didn't think it was strange, we were heading to Goddess of Frivolity and Flower of the South Shelley's for brunch.

As ladies arrived in their finest and sexiest lingerie, we were welcomed by Louis, Shelley's husband, who had prepared coffee, tea, mimosa, and sweethearts.

Shelley had filled her house with balloons and the table was perfectly decorated in a Mardi Gras theme. Purple and red bandanas served as placemats and napkins. Each place setting had a crown or a mask along with a hobo bag filled with candy and beads and matching mug.

The beautiful buffet was filled with quiche, scrambled eggs, sausage, antipasto, a wonderful selection of breads, and more.

We welcomed new member Lynda who took her vows along with Pat and Judy who finally got the take their official vows.

We all had a wonderful time blowing bubbles, telling stories, and singing in helium voices.

We all calmed down enough to gather on the front steps for a formal portrait.

Thank you Shelley and Louis for such a wonderful time! A terrific time was had by all. Even Regina and Roberta croaked about it on the ride home.

Scavenger Hunt at Polaris Fashion Place and Lunch at Lindey's
Janaury 24, 2004

Neitherrain, nor snow, nor cold temperatures can stop the members of the Red Hat Society from attending their events! We gathered near the food court of the Polaris Fashion Center for our scavenger hunt even though the night before Franklin County was hit with freezing rain and 6 inches of snow.. Teams of two where chosen, the rules were read, and the clues where given. The ladies spread out across the mall so fast they were just a blur of purple and red.

The game was to be held on one level of the mall and was basically very simple but the clues were tricky. The majority of the answers could be obtained by looking in store windows or picking up leaflets or fliers displayed in front of the business. Only two items were to be purchased; a gumball and a Yankee Candle tart. No clerk or customers would be bothered in any way. Renee, Prime Ministress of Rulelessness, Contessa Carole, and I worked very hard on the previous Monday for two and a half hours making sure managers, clerks, etc. were aware of what would be taking place. Even the Guest Service Desk was told and all were looking forward to our visit. I am stating these facts so you will understand our astonishment at what was about to happen!

The game had only been in progress about ten minutes when ladies were approached by security and we were told that the mall doesn't allow scavenger hunts of any kind. I asked to speak to the security manager and he was firm, no scavenger hunts allowed! This was the first of many warnings they gave. Two Pink Hatters having coffee at a table in front of Starbuck's were even interrupted by security. The final straw was when Contessa Carole and I were stopped by not one security guard but two and one being the security manager, stating that our ladies were STILL disturbing customers. We made it very clear that the Victorian Bouquets Ladies would never disturb customers, that it was the shoppers, themselves, who were being friendly and curious about our hats and our organization. Certainly he didn't expect us to be rude and not acknowledge and talk to people!? Were we not allowed to walk the mall? Were we not allowed to shop if we saw something we liked or needed? We made it very clear that we would alert other Red Hat Chapters that they were not welcome at Polaris Mall and certainly not to conduct a WILD, CRAZY, LOUD, DISTURBING, or FUN SCAVENGER HUNT!! Now ladies, after we had been told that the mall "never allows scavenger hunts", we found out that the mall in fact has scheduled a "treasure hunt".

A special thanks go to all of the stores on the second level of the mall for their help and encouragement!. All of the stores made us feel special and welcomed us with open arms. Apparently it was only security that seemed to have a problem with us Red Hatters.

Lunch at Lindeys was a bright spot in the day as we all gathered to laugh about our failed attempt at fun. I crowned our greeter with my red hat and he proceeded to parade around the restaurant. Two ladies took their "mini-vows", since I forgot to bring the real ones, and became new flowers in our bouquet. Welcome Pat and Judy!

In true Red Hat style we still laughed, played our kazoos, and had a great time! Let's hope that Contessa Carole and Donna, Divine Divi of Disorder can find the keys to their handcuffs before our February event!

Calendar Girl Outing
January 3, 2004

Contessa Carole made arrangements with the bouquet of Flowers to meet at Macaroni Grill restaurant which was located just in front of the theatre where they would attend the Calendar Girls" movie together.

Unfortunately, as we gathered, we noticed the restaurant was closed...SHUT DOWN, OUTA BUSINESS! Not to worry, the On the Border restaurant was just next door and they even had a table to seat all eight of us.

Lois, Duchess of Windsor, surprised each flower with an adorable cookie cutter that pertained to the Bouquet.

After a delicious lunch, we met up with three more of our flowers. Joining us also, was a lovely lady that had noticed our red hats in the lobby and asked to join us. She belongs to a Red Hat chapter in Delaware. It's always to fun to run into other "young" Red Hat ladies!

What a wonderful movie. No one was disappointed!

Afterwards, we gathered around the cardboard advertisement for our picture to be taken. As usual, there were many onlookers that would point and chuckle.

Though the weather was cold and rainy, we all had all had a wonderful afternoon!

Holiday Party
Buckeye Boat Club
December 6, 2003

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!!!!! Our holiday party was held at the Buckeye Boat Club on Hoover Reservoir on a very cold afternoon. If the weatherman had predicted correctly, we'd have had a few inches of snow to play in but no (much to Shelley's dismay) there was no snow to be found. The ovens were warmed in anticipation of things to come, the punch was mixed, the tables were set with care, the tree was decorated with purple and red, and the wood in the fireplace was lit. The club house was ready for fun, food, music, and good company. One by one everyone arrived with a dish to share and a present to put under the tree.

The food was laid out and wow, we had a lot of wonderful food!!! If we had of been snowed in, we'd have had enough food for several days. Ladies, we sure can cook! I know that I went back to the buffet table to resample a few items. For desert, Renee brought a vanilla and chocolate cake decorated with a red hat. No one wanted to be accused of cutting into the beautiful cake, so we caught three ladies in cahoots.

While the ladies were enjoying desert, Carole & I presented a tea cup to Edie, Milady Fifi who took her vows at the November event, a birthday gift to Carol, Lady Dragonfly, and a new hat decorated just for Rosie, Mistress of Tongs and Other Stuff for her birthday.

While everyone was relaxing after a great meal, we moved the presents from under the tree and placed each one in front of a seat at the long table in front of the fireplace. We asked each lady to find a present (not the one that she had brought) and sit down in front of it. Now the fun began. We read the Christmas gift exchange story (with the Wright family and their holiday baking and tree trimming) that had us passing the gift before us in the direction (right or left) that we heard the words read. I tried to read as slowly as possible but, even then, some of us forgot our left and our right. Now I'd like to ask, what do you think that the chances are of winding up with the same gift that you started with after the whole story was read and the gift was passed around??? I'd say that it was very unlikely but wouldn't you know it, we managed to do it. I finished reading the story and lo and behold, there was the same gift that I had started with in front of me. After a good laugh we just passed the gift to the right one more time.

After all the presents were opened (and not necessarily with care), out came the hats and embellishments for some serious hat decorating. We had hats ranging from small to very, very large. There were a lot of feathers, flowers, ribbons, and lace flying around the room. During this time, a few of us brave souls got up to dance the hokey pokey. We laughed so hard as we "turned yourself around".

As the fire burned down and the evening started to arrive we cleaned and packed up and left for home. We had such a wonderful day. I'll speak for Carole and myself when I say that we are truly blessed with a wonderful group of "flowers" in our bouquet.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our Red Hat and Pink Hat sisters!

Biddies Coach House
November 15, 2003

Sixteen Flowers and one honored guest, Jennica, who created and designed our website and who will be coming into full-bloom in March (baby due), gathered at Biddies Coach House in Dublin for a delightful luncheon.  There was excitement in the air!  Not only were many of the Flowers wearing beautiful hats and attire, but today was Queen Marilyn's Reduation!!

We all took time to admire Carol, Lady Dragonfly's many red feathers and Lola, Lady Gardenia's new pins.

Linda, Duchess of Carousels, being one of our two Pink Hatters, stood out in her beautiful new pink hat as did Renee, Prime Ministress of Rulelessness, in her new red hat.

Co-Queen Carole, Contessa of Creative Spirit, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, wore a hat adorned with a cornucopia with fruit and nuts on the top and a turkey sitting on the brim (only once did she drop her nuts on the table).  Queen Marilyn was glowing with anticipation in her new purple outfit and new red hat!

After eating lunch, our newest Flower, Edie, Milady Fifi, took her vows.  Kazoos were raised in her honor and our theme song "Roll Out the Barrel" was played.  November birthday gifts were presented and again kazoos were playing "Happy Birthday".

Finally, the long awaited moment had come, all the Flowers of the Victorian Bouquet gathered outside in the cold and drizzle, lining the sidewalk to take part in the Reduation of Queen Marilyn.  The ceremonial hat and boa were placed on Marilyn and the fun began.  Quite rapidly, I might add, the drizzle was becoming droplets.

Expecting to receive her new red hat at the end of her journey, Queen Marilyn was surprised and crowned with a LARGE red Queen Mother crown (of sorts), and a Red Hat Society Welcome flag.  It was fun, exciting, and disorganized time for all!

Queen Marilyn, you do look stunning in your new Red Hat!!!!

Persnickety Local Chapter Tea
October 25, 2003

We hosted a Tea for the local area Red Hat Society chapters on October 25th at the Persnickety Cottage and Tea House. The tables were set with purple placemats, a bouquet was placed on each table, a hat pin was placed at each setting for a favor, and the name badges were placed on the greeters table, we were ready!

One by one (and sometimes 5 at a time) ladies began entering the tea room. We had a total of 48 lovely ladies representing 7 chapters. The chapters represented were the Bloomin Babes, Crimson Crested Buckeyes, Gillie Fillies, MadCap Mavens, Radiant Red Hats, Tea Thyme Society Girls, and our own Victorian Bouquets. It was so much fun to see all of the ladies dressed in our "colors".

After a short welcome to everyone from Queen Marilyn, we ordered our tea and lunch was served. While the tables were being cleared the MadCap Mavens serenaded us with "God Save the Queen" and Queen Kathy performed her queenly wave. Not be outdone, the Victorian Bouquets gave a rousing rendition of their trademark "Roll out the Barrel"! Some ladies did the "Star Spangled Banner" and finally we were serenaded by a group playing "Doowah Diddy", now that's a hard one to hum……

After lunch we chatted and posed for pictures in the Gazebo. We even had three new members recite their Victorian Bouquets vows! As some ladies where gathering their items and getting ready to leave for shopping, wandering around Westerville, or to head home, I heard "we should do this more often"!

Thank you all ladies for joining us, we had a wonderful time.

Madcap Mavens

Bloomin' Babes

Victorian Bouquets

Chapter Queens

Morgan House
September 20, 2003

The ladies of The Victorian Bouquets met Sept. 20th at The Morgan House in Dublin and what a lovely assortment of flowers they were! Before lunch, we shopped and oooogled over all the wonderful things displayed. While waiting to be seated, we met The Tea Thyme Society Girls chapter of the Red Hat Society also lunching at the Morgan House. It's so nice to meet and chat with others who are young at heart and having fun. Renee was our hostess for the day and presented all of us with a darling votive candle with a little sprig of roses.

We welcomed two new flowers to our bouquet and after taking their vows, presented Jan and Vicki their red wax lips, kazoos, and clackers. Our theme song was then played on our kazoos and our talents made such a big impression on the cook, that the waitress came to us with a request from him....."Hang On Sloopy" in honor of the Ohio State football game being played that day. As Renee was paying the bill, the remaining flowers gathered out on the lawn to set up for Renee's surprise Reduation. What fun!! We placed our ceremonial Reduation hat on her head and proceeded to have a terrific time!

After proclaiming Renee an official Red Hatter, we gathered again at Baker's Acres Garden Center to shop for more Red Hat items. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day and a wonderful time together was again enjoyed by all!

Yankee Peddler Festival
September 6, 2003

You’ve heard the old saying “you can’t get there from here”, well that was what we thought early Saturday morning when the Westerville Park & Ride, where we were to meet, was blocked off for the yearly household hazardous waste drop-off. Lola and Lorraine had made it into the lot before they closed it off and parked along the edge of the parking lot. Shelley arrived shortly after while Carole parked across the street. We finally got underway and drove under both sunny skies and then through deep fog to reach our destination, the Yankee Peddler Festival in Canal Fulton Ohio.

We purchased tickets, grabbed a few maps, decided on a location (or so we thought) to meet for lunch, and our day of shopping began. The Yankee Peddler, in it’s 31st year, is huge! The area is divided into seven different sections each with color coded flags set up to help you locate where you are. As their website says “Step back in time 200 years as you enter the 14th Colony at The Yankee Peddler Festival. Watch over 300 master craftspeople demonstrate their skills. Sample pioneer food cooked over an open fire. Enjoy the sights and sounds of costumed musicians and entertainers. Hear the Town Crier report the news of the day.”

The only complaint we had for the day was that the food concessions seemed to be very unorganized. The food was wonderful but the wait for it wasn’t. In all fairness this was the first day for the festival but we really shouldn’t have had to wait 20 minutes to receive our food after we ordered. The concession stand that Carole ordered her blooming onion from caught on fire! That was pretty scary. Thank God we had all the rain that we did or the trees around the stand could have easily caught on fire.

In keeping with the tradition of “disorganization” we couldn’t find the other half of our group at lunch time. We heard that they had a wonderful time also as they lunched in the Gold section while we lunched in the Blue section. After a lot of walking and looking at crafts, we left the glen with our purchases and started our journey back to Westerville. We’re looking forward to next year! 

Longaberger Homestead Sentimental Rose Tea Garden
August 23, 2003

We met at the Park & Ride and we were all in the same location! We pointed our vehicles east and we were off.

We arrived at the Longaberger Homestead in Frazeysburg Ohio in plenty of time to have our photo taken in front of the World's Largest Apple Basket (it stands 20 feet tall) and to do a little shopping before tea.

Tea at the Sentimental Rose Tea Garden was served at 11:00 am. The summer menu had a choice of 9 different teas that we sampled, chilled strawberry soup, lemon scones, harlequin fingers, several other sandwiches, and of course desert which was served with raspberry and mango sherbert.

After tea, we welcomed our newest flower in our bouquet, Shelley as she recited her vows. Carole and I presented Carol, Lorraine, Lola, and Lois with a little covered tea cup as a thank you for making their vows at the last event. We played a spirited rendition of "Happy Birthday" on our kazoos to celebrate Carole and Renee's August birthdays.

Several people inquired about our group and asked if they could take our picture. We obliged and even had our picture taken with a sweet little 6 year old lady who was enjoying her very first tea. Several little ladies had there picture taken with our Contessa of Creative Spirit as she was relaxing on a chair in the entry way while the rest of us were checking out the tea shop.

We headed back to the shops at the homestead for a few hours of shopping. We found several shops that sold Red Hat items such as clothing, jewelry, and cigar box purses. In our wanderings we met several ladies that belonged to other chapters of the Red Hat Society. One lady was with her church group, the Elmwood Baptist Church, from West Virginia. Another lady was visiting from Tuscawarus County Ohio. As we left the Homestead we met with two greeters in the Welcome Center that belonged to a chapter from the Frazeyburg area. It's always so nice to meet with other Red Hatters.

BB Riverboats
July 19, 2003

What a beautiful day for a cruise on the riverboat. We all planned to meet at the Park & Ride in Westerville and car pool to Cincinnati. I arrived early and talked with a few ladies who had just arrived. We waited and waited for the other ladies and then waited some more. I thought it funny that Contessa Carole hadn't arrive yet, she is always early! About 10 minutes passed and I happened to notice a car and a flash of purple diagonally across the parking lot. I walked over and wouldn’t you know, there were the rest of our missing group. Nothing like being early but parking in opposite ends of the parking lot.

The drive to Cincinnati passed quickly and before we knew it we were following signs in Covington to the riverboat. I've decided that valet parking is the best thing since panty hose; much easier than dropping ladies off and then trying to find a parking space.

We boarded the "Belle of Cincinnati", had our drinks, and were chatting when we realized that we had left dock. The buffet line was very organized and the staff were very attentive. We had many comments on our hats and a very sweet Sister who was celebrating her 50th year as a Benedictine nun came over to take our picture. We cruised the Ohio River as we ate and played the "Peculiar Game" which is a poem that you count points for fashion items one may be wearing. Lorraine won the door prize (a Yankee Candle votive and holder) with 54 points. We all are still wondering just how many buttons she had on her shirt!

A banjo player entertained us and he allowed us to accompany him on "Roll out the Barrel". Rosie still thinks that some of the guests thought that we must be a professional kazoo group, although not a very good one. Everyone wandered off to watch the river flow, get a little sun, or play bingo before heading home to Westerville. It was a great day with plenty of laughs.

2nd Annual Mid-Ohio Red Hat Bash
June 14, 2003

Our first experience at a large event of Red Hat sisters happened at the 2nd Annual Red Hat Bash in Cardington Ohio! What a great experience and what fun to see other Red Hatters all decked out in their purple outfits and red hats and the Pink Hatters in lavender and pink hats.

We arrived early and I'm glad we did! We had time to shop at the boutiques set up in the Murphy House after registration. They had a nice selection of purple outfits, jewelry, scarves, boas, and of course red hats. The shelter at Cardington Park had a group of vendors set up. We had a chance to look at hat boxes, vintage hats, sample a delicious pound cake from a tea hostess, purchase loose tea, look at handmade crafts, and have a spiritual reading. It was a good thing we had a van to hold all of our purchases. We met a lot of wonderful sisters and enjoyed a good laugh talking about our Contessa's hat and our Royal Ravishing Roberta Red.

A big tip of the Red Hat to Queen Paula of the Scarlet Butterflys of Mount Vernon Ohio who did a wonderful job of setting up this event. Thank you Queen Paula from the Victorian Bouquets, we're looking forward to next year!

Scioto Downs
May 17, 2003

In keeping with the spirit of Red Hat disorganization, we decided to forget about sipping tea and headed to the races. We put on our purple and lavender outfits, placed our best red and pink racing hats on our heads, gathered up our red and purple umbrellas, and headed south to Scioto Downs on a rainy Saturday evening. Scioto Downs has live harness racing May through September and simulcasts harness racing and thoroughbred racing 7 days a week. The clubhouse offers fine dining and has a great view of the track with television sets on each table.

The clubhouse filled up fast as the weather started to clear. We checked the racing program and placed our first bets. It's amazing that we all picked a winning horse (or at least a place or show) when we picked for fun but as soon as we placed that bet, … well that's another story.

We had several women ask "do you belong to the Red Hat Society?" We also met a couple of nice ladies and found out that they too were Red Hatters from Kenton Ohio!

"Wear Your Hat Day, Columbus"
May 9, 2003

Three members participated in the 'Wear Your Hat Day, Columbus' on the Statehouse lawn. The event was sponsored by the Columbus Recreation and Parks, Target, and Columbus Cultural Arts Center. It was part of a month-long community wide celebration of the making and wearing of hats. There were several milliners there from Ohio, Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana and alot of ladies dressed in their finest.

We met two charming Red Hatters; Sandi from the Crimson Crested Buckeyes of Columbus and Queen Paula from the Mount Vernon Scarlet Butterflys. It was nice meeting both of you ladies.

Our First Event!
Persnickety Cottage and Tea House
April 26 2003

Our first event was held on April 26, 2003 at the Persnickety Cottage and Tea House in Westerville Ohio. The Persnickety is a beautifully renovated 1910's church turned into an English garden complete with gazebo. This is the perfect place for the Red Hat Society to have an afternoon tea, the placemats were purple. The food at the Persnickety was wonderful (I'd like to suggest the house quiche, yummy).

Arriving early, Queens Marilyn and Carole decorated the table with bouquets and placed homemade sachets at each place setting for favors. Queen Carole made the sachet herself using flowers from her gardens. Seven women gathered in their appropriate hats and outfits. After introductions were made and lunch ordered, we swore on our hats and took our vows to become the charter members of the Victorian Bouquets. When all the plates where clean Queens Marilyn and Carole brought out their hat box of goodies and thanked each member by presenting them with a tea cup, a set of lips, and their very own kazoo! Our first rendition of "Roll out the Barrel" was a big hit in the tea house. We offered to take requests but we had no takers.

It was so much fun meeting new women and exchanging ideas for future events. Just think of how much fun we're going to have!