Friday, January 12, 2018

Ebay and Honey Bear Socks

I browse ebay and make occasional purchases - mostly dishware - but the high cost of shipping usually causes me to ask myself, "Do I really need this?", and quite often I don't.

I was singing the praises of Ebay yesterday though, as well as a very kind and helpful blog reader who read my post about Michigan Charming Charlie stores being out of the tea-themed Honey Bear socks that Angela McRae blogged about at Tea With Friends.

Jo in Kansas sent me an e-mail informing me the socks were available on ebay.  I promptly went to ebay and purchased them.  They are on their way to my house, and were the original price at Charming Charlie's with no shipping fee. Yippee!  I never would have thought to check ebay, so a huge thank you to Jo!

As a bonus I discovered they not only came in mint green, but pastel pink too, so I got them both!

Raising my teacup to Jo, Angela, ebay, and life's simple pleasures!  
Note to self:  Next time something is out of stock at a particular store, check ebay!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Charming Charlie's and Purple Door

My tea and blogging friend, Angela McRae, at Tea With Friends, blogged about a pair of tea-themed socks she recently found at Charming Charlie's store in her post yesterday.  The pattern is called 'Honey Bear.'  Aren't they cute?  

I happened to be near a Charming Charlie's store yesterday afternoon, so I decided to pop in to see if they had them.  To my dismay, they aren't new inventory so they're sold out in all four Michigan stores, as well as online.  'You snooze, you lose!'  ;-)

My granddaughter, Brianna, loves the store as does my daughter-in-law, Samantha, but unless I'm with one of them I don't usually shop there.  I'm thinking I better change my ways!

Even though I didn't find the socks, I did find a cute navy blue wool cloche hat that came home with me. It will go perfectly with a navy blue dress I recently purchased.

On two other subjects...  For local readers I wanted to mention I'll be doing a Lucille Ball presentation at the Purple Door tearoom on February 7th.  Tea time is 12:00 noon.

Advanced reservations are required.  The cost of the tea is $37.80 and must be mailed to Purple Door Tearoom, 701 Livernois Ave., Ferndale, MI 48220 in advance.  They only have a seating capacity of 30, and some reservations have already been made, so call about availability before sending money.  Phone number: 248-268-3275.  Hope to see you there!

Also, if you read my January 8th post about Lady Fiona's Come and Dine contest at Highclere Castle, she added an update in the Community section which is a video titled Come and Dine with Highclere Castle.  It's a guide about how they set the table at Highclere.  It's interesting and beneficial to watch even if you don't plan on entering the contest.

The video states the following:
  • Choose table size to suit the number of guests
  • Choose cutlery for the number of food courses
  • Place the cutlery so guests work from outside inwards
  • No cutlery is placed above the place settings
  • Fold napkins to match decoration
  • Ensure that all decorations are no higher than candles

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Studying Hannah

Today was our first Bible study of the new year.  Sadly one lady was missing - my neighbor, whose husband passed away on January 5th.  After our Bible study and lunch we all went to the funeral home together to give our love and support to her.

Our Bible study began with some thoughts from Dr. David Jeremiah.  Just as Joshua told the Israelites to keep their eyes on the Ark of the Covenant [which symbolized God's presence] "Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." [Joshua 3:4], we too must keep our eyes on God for guidance since we have never traveled the uncharted territory of 2018.  We don't know what lies ahead, but our Heavenly Father does and He has promised to never leave or forsake us.

Hannah was a wonderful woman of the Bible.  She took life's difficulties to God in prayer and He honored her by giving her the son she so desired - Samuel.

Since I didn't have the ladies over during the holidays, I left my Christmas decorations up for an 'extended holiday.'  Now I'll packed them away.

I used my newly acquired red tartan plaid dishes for lunch.  Not all the pieces are identical, but they were fine mixed and matched.

I made chili for lunch [ground turkey instead of beef] and cheese quesadillas to go with it.  Tea was Harney & Sons Paris blend [black tea].

Dessert was Ree Drummond's recipe for Pecan Pie [aka The Pioneer Woman of Food Network] with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream.  I used the pecans that one of my blog followers from Biloxi, Mississippi sent me for Christmas.  We all declared the recipe a winner, and it can be found here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Come and Dine

Lady Carnarvon's blog post today was titled Dine and Dream.

The US press stated that Highclere Castle [aka Downton Abbey] is the one place in the world where people most dream of staying.

Guests are welcomed for tours, but only a few go for dinners and an overnight stay.  While Lady Fiona, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon, was visiting the U.S. she observed that Downton Abbey fans held dinner parties on Sunday evenings after viewing the episode on TV.

So she came up with the idea of asking fans to conjure up a Downton Abbey style dinner party this February, with recipes, tablescapes and fashion.

[Commemorative teacup I brought back from my 2015 visit]

Beginning the week of January 11th she'll be posting videos of Highclere dinner parties in the community section of her website.  After fans have held their dinner parties, photos can be sent in and a winner will be selected.  The winner and guests [total of 8 people] will fly to England, and dine and stay at the castle - which, of course, includes Afternoon Tea!  Viking Cruises will sponsor the flights.

She's calling the contest, Come and Dine.  To read her entire post and details click here.  Are you up for the challenge?  Good luck!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Zulily Purchase

I just returned from my annual check-up with the ophthalmologist that was hastened when my glasses broke during the Christmas holidays.  Today was the soonest I could get in.  I've been trying to make do with lenses that are three prescriptions back because I used the current frames for two prescriptions.  My eyes are dilated, and the computer screen is glaring, so I'll make this post short. 

Have you ever purchased clothing online from Zulily?  I placed my first order with them on December 29th, and it was waiting on my front porch when I came home from the eye doctor.

The red tartan plaid tunic top caught my eye since I've been acquiring red tartan plaid dishware [which I blogged about here].  Now I can coordinate with my dishes!  ;-)  I don't normally like to order clothing online because I like to see things in person and try them on before buying, but I decided to take a chance with Zulily.

Now I feel like I should go make myself a cup of strong Scottish tea in a red tartan plaid teacup, and sip it while listening to bagpipe music!  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ancestry DNA

My hubby and I both activated our DNA kits online today that we received for Christmas. We filled the tube with saliva and placed it in the mailer that will make it's way to Utah tomorrow.  In roughly six to eight weeks the results of where I came from will be sent to me online. Amazing, isn't it?  I'll keep you posted.

I probably wouldn't have bought the kit myself, but our daughter-in-law bought one for Steve a year ago at Christmas, and being the inquisitive history buff that he is, he was anxious to compare his DNA to ours to see which one has the greater influence.  Hence he purchased our kits.  His DNA was European with 45% Great Britain, 16% Ireland, and other regions with lesser percentages.  Genetic information is, indeed, fascinating.

While science and technology provide newer and more detailed genetic information, I also hold dear what the Psalmist said of our Creator/Heavenly Father in Psalm 139: "...You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful, and I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be..."    

Our neighbor of 38 years lies in ICU tonight, after having just celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday.  His brief, unexpected illness is sobering.  While I may not know the earthly regions of my ethnicity yet, I'm so thankful that through Jesus Christ I can be certain I've been adopted into the family of God, and He is my eternal Father. Someday it won't matter where I came from, but it's imperative that I know where I'm going and preparations for eternity have been made.  

January is Hot Tea Month, and I can't think of a better way to keep warm during the frigid, record-low temperatures and blizzards occurring across the country, than by drinking copious amounts of hot tea.  It's 1 degree in southeastern MI right now.  As the song goes, "Baby it's cold outside!"

Here's to tea and staying warm!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone has selected Ultra Violet as its color of the year - a blue-based purple.  The color supposedly communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.

I always associate purple with royalty, so I did a little research and found the color purple has been associated with royalty, power, and wealth for centuries.  In fact, Queen Elizabeth I forbad anyone except close members of the royal family to wear it.  Purple's elite status stems from the rarity and cost of the dye originally used to produce it, making it affordable only to royalty and those of wealth.  

It's associated with royalty in the Bible too.  Roman soldiers clothed Jesus in purple before beating and crucifying him.  Although they were clearly mocking him as king of the Jews, he was, in fact, royalty.

And speaking of royalty... many of us are taken up with Season Two of The Crown on Netflix and Season Two of Victoria on PBS right now.

Leave it to Republic of Tea [who gave us so many lovely Downton Abbey blends] to come up with two new teas associated with The Crown: The Queen's Evening Tea [an herbal blend of Chamomile blossoms and sweet honey flavor] and Prime Minister's Tea [Earl Grey black tea].  I think I may have to give them a try since January is designated as Hot Tea Month, and I'm always eager to try new teas.  The teas can be purchased individually for $13 [36 tea bags] or a gift set for $27.95 [plus postage if ordering directly from Republic of Tea].

I receive Dr. David Jeremiah's devotions [Turning Point] in my in-box every morning.  He says the new year is a 'privilege'.   He pointed out that our God is a 'start-over' God.  Every 24 hours we get to start over with a new day.  Every 7 days we get to start over with a new week.  Every 4 weeks we get to start over with a month.  And every 365 days we get to start over with a new year.  If we mess up, or fall short of the goal, God grants grace and forgiveness, and plenty of opportunities to start over.  

Dr. Jeremiah challenged me to do what I ought to do first thing every day [which is to begin the day in God's Word], rather than what I feel like doing.  Satan [our adversary] puts every obstacle possible in the way to prevent that, so it requires discipline.

I do, indeed, like the color Pantone has chosen for 2018.  It inspires me to be faithful to the King of kings, and Lord of my life.  He [through His Word] will definitely take me on discoveries beyond where I am now, and provide intrigue for what lies ahead.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

My last cup of tea in 2017 and my first cup in 2018 were the same - Harney & Sons Paris blend [black tea].  What tea was in your cup?

On New Year's Eve morning we went to church for the surprise service honoring Pastor Steve and Sharon's 25th Wedding Anniversary, and the 14th Anniversary of our church. 

Dr. Stephen Anthony [District Superintendent when our church began] officiated. Steve and Sharon were brought in by their two daughters [Brianna and Brooke] while the song, Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us, was sung.  They renewed their vows, and our son, Jeremy, sang the Steven Curtis Chapman song, I Will Be Here [which Steve sang to Sharon in their original wedding ceremony].  Jeremy did an awesome job, and it was a nice surprise for Steve.

I Will Be Here is a beautiful song of commitment all couples should share with each other throughout marriage.  The lyrics bear repeating here:

Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the sun does not appear
I, I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love, hold my hand, and have no fear,
Cause I, I will be here.

I will be here when you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen and I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing, and tryin'
We'll be together 'cause I will be here.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up, and the future is unclear 
 I, I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetime's are made for years
So, I, I will be here.

I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older,
I will hold you and I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me,
I will be here.

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me
I, I will be here.

Afterwards our family all want to Olive Garden for dinner.  Granddaughter, Brooke, took a picture of Jerry and me while there [below].  The icy frame was most appropriate because the temperature predicted that day was a high of 17 degrees and a low of -1 degree!

Jerry and I quietly ushered in the New Year at home with a Hallmark Movie and Times Square on TV.  On New Year's morning we picked up our daughter and traveled to Jeremy's house to spend the day.

Jeremy lives in a wooded area and below is what the unpaved road leading to his house looked like on New Year's morning.

This is their deck as seen from their great room.

As you may recall from earlier posts last week, Izzy's gift from her Papa and me was a sewing machine, so while everyone watched football, Lori, Izzy and I went to the basement where Lori gave Izzy a hands-on tutorial on her new sewing machine.  Izzy decided her first sewing project would be a pillow.

She was SO proud of her first completed sewing project.

The gals played games in late afternoon and early evening - Clue, Catch Phrase, and Dutch Blitz [a new card game to me, but fun], while the guys watched football on TV.  We departed for home around 8:30 p.m. since Lori had to return to work this morning.  It was a wonderful New Year's Day, and now a brand new year awaits us.

My prayer for all of you in blogland during 2018 is found in Numbers 6:24-26 of the Bible: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."