Friday, December 7, 2018

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's hard to believe this is the seventh day of December.  The clock is rapidly ticking.  It will be Christmas Day before we know it!

When I went to Shore Pointe Assisted Living on November 25th for my monthly tea presentation, they were busily decorating the facility for a December 1st party.

One tree left to go.

This has been a busy week at The Whitney.  I served tea to 30 guests on Tuesday, December 4th.  The theme the group chose for their Christmas tea was The Nutcracker.  I wanted to take a picture of the tables because they were decorated so beautifully, but I ran out of time before the guests started arriving.  The best I could do was to take a photo of a left behind menu card.  There were lovely nutcrackers at each place setting.

There was also a Christmas wedding one afternoon at The Whitney.  I did manage to get a photo of the centerpieces befor that event.

We're trying something new at The Whitney this year - selling 2 oz. of our signature Christmas Tea, "Mistletoe Kiss" [which I got to name] in a teacup with a voucher for two Afternoon Teas good throughout 2019.  I've been busy assembling the teacups.  We didn't introduce them until Wednesday, Dec. 5th.   The $80 price tag must be daunting, because we haven't sold any yet, even though it's a great value.  The Afternoon Teas alone are valued at $69.90.  

On the home front, I took a picture of my hubby as he began to decorate the outside of our house for Christmas this past Tuesday.  He put our pre-lit Christmas tree up yesterday, and I'll decorate it over the weekend. It's challenging trying to get my Christmas shopping done, Christmas cards written, and decorating done now that I'm working.

A while back, I was sent a box of Green Pomegranate Tea from a thoughtful blog reader.  I love the tea, especially since I'm drinking green tea almost exclusively at home now.  I ordered a case - some for myself and some to give as Christmas gifts.  I was so pleased when it arrived in yesterday's mail.  The English Tea Shop is a UK Tea Company.

We received our first tea-themed Christmas Card yesterday.  I love it!  Other Christmas cards have been arriving in the mail as well.

It becomes more difficult every year to find tea-themed Christmas cards. Cups of hot chocolate and coffee lattes seem to take precedence.  Last year my search was futile, but I was able to find one this year.  This is my greeting for all of you, my faithful readers, this Christmas Season!

In all the busyness of the holidays, I remind myself that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and may He never get lost in all the hustle and bustle.

My heart goes out to the family of former President, George H.W. Bush.  Losing a loved one is never easy any time of the year, but it's especially difficult at holidays.  Due to working I've only been able to watch snippets of his funeral services on TV after-the-fact, but I listened to his pastor's eulogy on the radio as I was driving to work.   He used what has become one of my favorite quotes.  My son also used it at my father's funeral - "Preach the gospel at all times.  Use words if necessary."  ~ St. Francis of Assisi   Oh that we all can leave such a legacy!

1990 Internet photo of Pres. George and Barbara Bush at the White House

The photo reminds me of another quote I love.  It was my paternal grandmother's favorite quote and used at her funeral.  "Only one life 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last."   ~ C.T. Studd, Missionary

Monday, December 3, 2018

Cristy Bennett's 2018 Celtic Christmas Tea

Last Saturday, Dec. 1st, my girlfriend, Lori, and I traveled to East Lansing to attend Cristy Bennett's Celtic Christmas Tea.   It was the perfect way to welcome the month of December and the Christmas Season. When this series of teas are done, Cristy will be taking a much deserved break, so we savored every minute of this last tea.

As always, the festive front porch set the tone for what was waiting for us inside.

A Cardinal Christmas Tree was in Cristy's family room.

Lori and I had our picture taken with Cristy's sweet mother, Lila.

~ Beautiful Tablescape ~

Our name at the top of the napkin folded in the shape of a Christmas Tree indicated where we'd be sitting.

Beautiful keepsake menu card below.  On the back cover was an Irish Christmas Blessing:  "May you be blessed with the spirit of the season, which is Peace, the gladness of the season, which is Hope, and the heart of the season, which is Love."

The tea began by a toast with Martinelli's Gold Medal Chilled Sparkling Apple and Pear Juice.

David [Cristy's husband] poured our delicious Wassail Tea that was a blend of Hot Cinnamon Spice Black Tea [by Harney & Sons], Apple Cider, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Nutmeg, and Cloves.  It is perfect for the holidays!

It was served in beautiful shamrock teacups by Lefton.  

Cristy's signature pinwheel scones were Irish Currant and Caraway Seed, with Devonshire Cream, accompanied by a cup of Vegetable Barley Soup.

Shepherd's Pie [bottom], Pistachio-Pineapple Salad [top left], and Broccoli-Craisin Salad [top right].

~ Dessert was Gingerbread Trifle ~

Feeling blessed that I've been able to attend so many of Cristy's wonderful teas.

More tablescape photos and a tour of Cristy's house.

~ Living Room Buffet ~

~ Celtic themed Christmas Tree ~

~ Antique Secretary ~

~ Fireplace Mantel ~

~ Dining Room ~

Heartfelt thanks for all the beautiful teas you've hosted since my first tea at your house in April 2011, Cristy.   You saved the best for last!  May God bless you and David as you begin a 'new chapter' in 2019.  

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lucille Ball at Troy Historic Village

I've been missing from my blog lately because I've been preparing for two presentations.  Several months ago [before I started working at The Whitney] the Adult Programs Director at Troy Historic Village, contacted me about doing my Lucille Ball presentation for their "Thursday Teas at Two."  The date was set for today.

This is the second time I've had the privilege of being a presenter there.  In June 2015 I did a program on vintage aprons.

I arrived at the village shortly after 1:00 p.m. to get set up for the 2:00 p.m. tea and program.  

The ladies were busily putting refreshments on the table, and what an array of goodies they had!

~ The Tea Table ~

I especially liked the red cardinal arrangement in a Christmas teacup below.

Thursday Teas at Two are always held in the 1837 Old Troy Church, and today it was all decorated for Christmas.  The dusting of snow added to its ambiance.  It's the perfect setting for a Hallmark Christmas movie, don't you think?

Being the history lover that I am, I read up on the history of the church.  Originally the Georgian style church was Troy Episcopal Church, but transitioned to the Methodists.  The congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Troy met in the building until they built their new church in 1968.  They sold the church and parsonage to an antique dealer, and the City of Troy and the Historical Society purchased it in 1997 and relocated it to the Village in 2003.

Lucille Ball fans are known as "Lucyphiles" and there were many "Lucyphiles" present today.  I don't know the seating capacity of the church, but it was filled - a testament to Lucy's popularity 29 years after her death!  The audience was very attentive and responsive.  The presentation was filmed for viewing on the City of Troy's Cable TV Station.

This is the fourth time I've presented the life of Lucille Ball, so I'm beginning to feel like I know her pretty well.

For readers of this blog who are also "Lucyphiles", CBS will air the I Love Lucy Christmas Special that was filmed on Christmas Eve 1956 on Friday, December 14th at 8:00 p.m.

Presenters are given 45-50 minutes, and amazingly I was able to squeeze all the highlights of Lucy's 77 years of life in that time allotment.  She died on April 26, 1989 four months shy of her 78th birthday.

Before leaving the village I took a few pictures to share.  This is a great historical place to visit, and they have a wonderful calendar of events.  For more information visit their website:  They're located at 60 W. Wattles Rd. just west of Livernois.

Thank you Troy Historical Village for the privilege of being your presenter today.