Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tea in the U.K. and Tea in Berkley, MI

The Internet is showing photos today of Prince William and Kate Middleton sitting down to tea with President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Mary Chee Bee Kiang of Singapore, at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.  It's Kate's first public appearance since she announced her second pregnancy.  It's good to see her feeling better, and looking as radiant as ever. 

[Internet Photo]

[Internet Photo]

Meanwhile in Berkley, Michigan I was back at O'Mara's for their second tea honoring J.L. Hudson's Department Store.  The room was almost filled to capacity, with very responsive attendees. One lady shared that she, her husband and her mother all worked at Hudson's flagship store. Her mother worked contingent, so she filled positions in several departments. One Easter season when her mother was working in one of the basements assembling Easter baskets, young Joe Hudson, Jr. [the founder's great-nephew] was just beginning his career with the company, and he began in the basement assembling Easter baskets with her.  The lady sharing the memory worked in draperies, and she said on Joe Hudson's last day at the store she rode the elevator down to the first floor with him as they finished their day's work. She thought it was ironic that her mother was with him on his first day of work, and she was with him on his last day of work.

Only one more Hudson's presentation to go this month, then all the memorabilia can be removed from my car for awhile.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bridal Gown Shopping

Last Saturday I was privileged to go bridal gown shopping with my granddaughter, Tiffany, whose wedding will be Aug. 15, 2015.  Her mother [my daughter, Lori], sister Marissa, and two other attendants went too.  There will be six attendants altogether.

[L-R:  Me, Tiffany, Marissa, and Lori]

[L-R:  Lauren, Tiffany, Julie and Marissa. Tiffany is holding Julie's three week old baby boy.]

Tiffany found the gown of her dreams at our very first stop, but just to make sure we went to four other bridal salons as well.

No photos of Tiffany in wedding gowns until the day of the wedding, but she will be a beautiful bride with her tiny, hour glass figure. 

It was a fun day, albeit a bittersweet one because I received a phone call from my brother while at Alessandra's telling me my sister-in-law [his wife] had just passed away.  Viewing will be this Wednesday, with the funeral on Thursday. Life includes both happy and sad moments.

When I got home I made a crock pot of turkey/pumpkin chili for the chili cook-off event held on our church property yesterday afternoon. The chili has a smoky taste due to the cup of Lapsang Souchong tea as an ingredient.  I provided the recipe for the chili in my very first blog post written on January 24, 2012.  It can be viewed here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Reflection...

John Wesley was born in England in 1703, and he died there in 1791.  He received his training at Oxford University, and was an ordained priest in the Anglican church.  John, along with his brother Charles, and another cleric, George Whitefield, are credited with forming the Methodist church.

We have been studying Wesleyan perspectives at church, and I love what John Wesley  said about the Bible:  "I am a spirit come from God and returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf, till a few moments hence I am no more seen - I drop into an unchangeable eternity!  I want to know one thing, the way to heaven - how to land safe on that happy shore.  God Himself has condescended to teach the way: for this very end He came from heaven.  He hath written it down in a book.  O give me that book!  At any price, give me the Book of God...!"  

I'm grateful for the Bible that not only teaches us "how to land safe on that happy shore [heaven]," but how to live a contented, purposeful life on this earth too.

May God bless your week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sharing Hudson's Department Store at Milford Public Library

Last night my hubby and I drove 43 miles to the City of Milford, MI, where I was asked to give a J.L. Hudson Department Store presentation sponsored by the Milford Public Library and the Milford Historical Society.  40 adults registered to attend.

The Milford Library is a beautiful new facility.

~ Promotional flier for event ~  

The program was held in the library Community Room.

Two ladies [pictured below] came wearing hats purchased at Hudson's, and carrying the store's hat boxes with the sales receipts inside.  I loved it!

The program was from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., and what a responsive group!

As always, I learned something new from attendees, such as Hudson's dining room tables had purse hooks on the underside corners for ladies to hang their purse on rather than setting it on the floor. 

One sweet lady gave me a Hudson's ice cream menu from the last meal served at the 13th floor Riverview Dining Room [1983].  Vernor's floats were $1.00, Sundaes were $1.65, and Banana Splits were $2.25.  She remembered the waitress crying about the store closing.  

What a fun evening listening to memories of Hudson's at the conclusion of the program. One gentleman came up and showed me his gold wedding band that was purchased at Hudson's, and said he'll soon be celebrating his 69th Wedding Anniversary! Another lady brought childhood photographs of her son taken in a Hudson's dining room when he belonged to the Birthday Club.   

Kathleen Maraccio, recent Gone With the Wind presenter at the Warren Public Library [which I blogged about here], was in attendance and shared her Hudson's memories and connections.

Thank you Milford Library and Historical Society for allowing me to share a subject that is near and dear to so many Detroiter's and suburbanites.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An American Girl Fashion Show & Tea

Last week when I was at English Gardens [a local nursery] shopping for mum plants for the tablescapes at O'Mara's restaurant, I noticed a flier at the check-out counter for an American Girl Fashion Show and Tea on October 25th & 26th.   I put the flier in my purse until I was able go online for more details.

I only have one granddaughter at the present time who is into American Girl dolls, and that's nine year old, Isabella.  She was so happy to get the 2014 American Girl Doll, Isabelle, this summer.

The fashion show and tea will be held at the historic Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, MI.  The hotel was one of Henry Ford's accomplishments in 1931 so visitors flying into his airport would have a place to stay.  Today it's managed by Marriott International, but it's still owned by Ford Motor Land Development Corp.

I called my daughter-in-law to see if the date was open on their calendar, and she said it was. I ordered three tickets, and they arrived in yesterday's mail.

I'm looking forward to going, and will be sure to take photos so I can blog about it afterwards.

I entered the drawing for an overnight stay at Dearborn Inn.  Other things are also included in the drawing which takes place today.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Afternoon Tea at O'Mara's

I have blogged about 17 previous Afternoon Tea experiences at O'Mara's Restaurant in Berkley, MI [beginning March 2013 and onward].  In the past, Chef Anita's cooking demos were the program, but since she's no longer working there, the management changed the format to a different speaker each month, and they asked me to speak about Detroit's beloved J.L. Hudson department store for their October Tuesday teas [14th, 21st, and 28th]. 

The dining room was set up for 52 ladies yesterday.

Fall mums decorated the table tops reminiscent of what might have been on the tables of Hudson's 13th floor Riverview Dining Room.  The green napkins were perfect for the occasion since their color is what I refer to as "Hudson's green."

The tea began with an Apple Cinnamon Scone, and a choice of Black Currant or Cranberry Autumn tea, both from Harney Teas.  I chose Cranberry Autumn.

Next came the soup - Wisconsin Cheddar or Irish Cream of Potato.  I chose Wisconsin Cheddar.

Sandwiches were Chicken Salad on Wheat Rounds, Ham Salad on Rye, and Egg Salad on White, all selections that were on Hudson's Mezzanine Tea Room menus.

~ Ladies enjoying the Hudson's themed menu ~

~ Hudson's famed Maurice Salad ~

While the ladies were enjoying their salad, I began the program.

Hudson's was also known for their Chicken Pot Pie.

A blueberry muffin also accompanied the meal.  A 1942 Mezzanine Tea Room menu listed the price as .10 cents!

~ Dessert was a Banana Split ~

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing information about Hudson's and stimulating fond, nostalgic  memories.  I also had fun wearing my newly acquired "Hudson's green" outfit to really get into the spirit of the presentation.  

One of the afternoon's highlights for me was having a lady come up to me afterwards to ask if I'd like to tour J.L. Hudson's former home on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit.  It's now a convent, and her husband does website work for them, so she said he'd be able to arrange a tour.  I'll keep you posted.

My girlfriend and tea buddy, Lori.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Remembering My Mother

Most regular readers will recall my mother passed away on August 17th of this year. Last Saturday, October 11th, would have been her 93rd birthday. She loved dishes and nick-knacks, and had a lot of them. Before moving to her assisted living apartment, she hired a company to have an estate sale to sell most of her things. Only favorite items came to the apartment. I 'inherited' her love for dishes, so when she moved she gave me almost all of her pink Depression glass collection, keeping only a few pieces for herself. Upon her passing, it was my responsibility to clean out her apartment. Since I have many dishes of my own, I only kept a few of her things that I especially wanted as keepsakes. I'm sharing them today in her memory. 

I definitely wanted her teapots and teacups.  I bought her the Department 56 "Piggy" teapot several years ago from the defunct Crowley Milner Department Store.  She always sat on top of my mom's stove for decoration.

~ Love this white Johnson Brothers, English-made Teapot ~

The Victorian lady teapot has a Lipper & Mans sticker on the bottom [Japan]. Originally it was a musical teapot, but the music box no longer works.  She will look pretty sitting on one of the built-in shelves in my living room when the project is completed.  The photos make her look gray, but she's light blue.

[Front view]

[Side view from spout] 

~ Japanese-made Footed Teacups ~

~ English-made, Bone China, Miniature Tea Set ~

~ Pink Depression Glass ~

~ The pink rooster always sat on the dining room table filled with candy. ~

~ Lefton Head Vase ~

~ Porcelain Pansy Ring ~

~ Blue & White Ardco Dallas Porcelain Figurines - Japan ~

~ Musical Figurines - Japan ~

Lastly is a plate that was my paternal grandmother's.  She received it for a wedding present. It too was in the things I brought from my mom's apartment.  I treasure it.


If my mother could have taken these things to Heaven with her, she surely would have.  But since she couldn't, I'll enjoy them, and lovingly care for them. They don't have great monetary value, yet they're priceless family pieces. Do you have china pieces that belonged to your mother and grandmother?