Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Surprise Gift

Last November, three ladies from the Daughters of Isabella [a Catholic women's group] came to Shore Pointe Assisted Living to hear my presentation about Lucille Ball because they're considering the program for their group.

I received a text from one of the ladies this morning saying she was near my neighborhood and wanted to drop off a package.  I've only met her once, but I told her that would be fine.  She was on her way to another appointment and didn't have time to come in, but handed me the lovely pink gift bag below.

Inside was a 2020 I Love Lucy calendar with pictures of different episodes for each month of the year.

The gift bag also included a lovely tea-themed figurine.  I've been collecting tea-themed figurines a long time, but I've never seen this one.  It's called 'Tea for Two' angel tea party.  Two children and two angels.  I hope that's symbolic of tea parties in Heaven!  ;-)

Backstamp: © 2002 Bill Stross for DEMDACO

I was so touched by her kindness and thoughtfulness.  Thanks for making my day, Lisa!

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Visit to Tea Party Castle

In 2010, before granddaughter Ellie was even born, I took granddaughters Brooke and Isabella to Tea Party Castle.  They were ages 4 and 7 at that time and absolutely loved it.  It was such a magical, fairytale experience.  Here's their pictures. 

Fast forward 10 years... Ellie saw the photos and has been asking if I'd take her.  Tea Party Castle is on its third owner since 2010, and it's been difficult to get a date for an event that worked for us.  But in early December they posted a Dolly and Me tea party scheduled for Jan. 12th.  I contacted my daughter-in-law to see if the date worked for Ellie, and when she said it did I purchased our tickets.

Yesterday was a horrible day in Michigan weather-wise.  Mother Nature sent freezing rain throughout Saturday night, and by Sunday morning all the roads were ice covered.  But Tea Party Castle said the tea party was still a go, so Ellie and I braved it.  Below is eight-year-old Ellie when we arrived at 11:15 a.m.  It was a sold-out event and all the other little princesses braved the weather too.

The tea party was first, before the little girls changed into their princess gowns.   They served lemonade and real flavored tea.  Ellie chose lemonade.  The tiered server held assorted crackers, cheese, fruit, cookies, and decorated mini-cupcakes.  Ice cream with a magical spoon that turned colors was served after they finished the tiered server.

The two 'big girl' princesses were delightful.  They gave the little girls a mini etiquette lesson about their napkin and teacup, and used a little ditty about a teacup and saucer I had never heard before:  one is for sips, one is for drips, and one is for lips.

Then it was time to pick out their princess gowns.  Ellie wanted a pink gown, and it took three tries before she found one that fit just right.

Then she went into another room to have her hair done.

Here's the transformed princess!

After all the little girls had been made up, they sang and danced with the big girl princesses.

The tea party concluded at 3:30 p.m. with lots of fun and happy memories for all the little princesses.

For local readers, Tea Party Castle is located in Shelby Township, MI.  The cost for the Dolly and Me tea party was $52.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

After being home bound for a whole week with the flu, I was beginning to get cabin fever. Most of my symptoms are gone [just a lingering cough now] so my hubby and I decided to go see a matinee showing of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  There were only two other couples in the theater besides us, but the movie's been out since November 22nd. Have you seen it?

Mister Rogers' children's television series was on the air while my children were growing up, but it wasn't one they watched.  

Tom Hanks did a great job portraying Fred Rogers.  One critic said "Many a movie will make you laugh or cry or think, but very few make you want to be a better person." Hanks deserved the Cecil B. DeMille Award he got at the Golden Globes last Sunday.

Without any spoilers [for those who might not have seen the movie yet], it's a true story about a relationship that developed between Rogers and a cynical journalist who had the assignment of profiling him for Esquire magazine.  The core of the movie is goodness, kindness, and forgiveness - Biblical principles Fred Rogers knew well as a Presbyterian minister.  

I wish I could tell you there were lots of tea scenes in the movie, but I didn't see a single teacup.  I had to wait until I got home to give tea its proper recognition!  ;-)

In closing, Happy 38th Birthday, Princess Kate!  I read she celebrated at a family tea party with William, George, Charlotte, and Louis.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Checking In...

I've been down with the flu the last four days, so haven't felt like blogging. But my granddaughter, Tiffany, sent me a picture of her family on Christmas morning wearing the red buffalo check pajamas I gave them.  I promised I'd share a picture when she sent it, so here it is!

~ Thanksgiving Day opening their pj's ~

John holding Juliette, Tiffany, and Evie [Evelyn Rose]

Buffalo checks never looked so cute!  ;-)  The photo was taken at John's parents' house, so Oliver, their golden retriever, was at the kennel and missed the photo shoot in his buffalo check pajamas.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

[Internet Graphic]

It's hard to believe we've entered a new year and new decade.  2019 went by so quickly.  This is the day for making resolutions and setting goals.  I recently heard a speaker say statistics show if goals aren't written down it's unlikely they'll happen.  Some choose one word to focus on throughout the new year.

I read two devotions this morning for January 1st. One focused on the word 'contentment'.  We should always strive to do our best, but to say "I won't be content until this or that happens" means God is not enough for us now.   

The second devotion was from my new book Jesus Always by Sarah Young, with the opening line "Don't Dwell on the Past."  The two words she focused on were gratitude and joy.  Gratitude produces joy.

I have SO much to be thankful for... the love and forgiveness of my Heavenly Father and all His blessings, which includes wonderful friends, some of whom I've met through blogging and the tea world.

My first cup of tea in 2020 was Teakruthi's exquisite Ceylon White Gold Tips [pictured above].  It was so light and delicate, and will yield at least two more steepings.  Very grateful to the friend who sent it.  What was your first tea in 2020?

I LOVE Pantone's Color for 2020 - Classic Blue.  As you know blue is my favorite color and Pantone says it instills calm, confidence and connection.  Its enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

It was my 'color of the year' in 2015 when we remodeled our living room, and I agree with Pantone that it's very calming. I used it as an accent color with light blue walls, carpeting, and white cabinets.  Are any rooms in your home decorated with classic blue?

Who wears classic blue better than the Royals? Princess Kate seems to have a fondness for it more than others.

~  Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie ~

Do you have any classic blue garments in your wardrobe?  I checked mine and I don't have anything.  I might have to remedy that!

2020 begins my 9th year of blogging with 1,770 posts under my belt. Thank you for reading my blog and for your kind comments!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve

It was so nice to wake up this morning and not have one single commitment on the calendar. We didn't have a white Christmas, but we woke up to a light dusting of snow today.

My hubby and I went out to breakfast and then went to see the 11:30 a.m. showing of Little Women.  It was very good.

I received a surprise package in the mail yesterday just before I left for work.  The friend who sent it is SO creative.  I could hardly wait to open it, and knowing her schedule recently I was touched by her thoughtfulness.

Inside was a package of Ceylon Gold White Tea by teakruthi - a tea purveyor I've not heard of before.  The sleeve around the tea said it's a special type of 'gold tips' white tea.  It's harvested from a young tea bush before the buds open, then dried in natural sunlight.  It's a pricey tea.

A note tucked inside the package said it was a gift of 'fantasy' and a very special tea experience!  Rubens Hotel at the Palace in London [a five-star luxury hotel] offers a Ceylon Golden Tip Afternoon Tea for £500 [or $662.37 US currency] for a three cup pot!  The white gloved service weigh the delicate tea with precision on scales; then each tip is placed into the silver teapot individually with golden tweezers.

[Photos courtesy of Rubens]

My creative friend enclosed a small box with a pair of white gloves and gold tweezers so I can create the 'fantasy' of sitting back in The Rubens overlooking The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and pretending I'm there.  I've enjoyed reading several articles about The Rubens since receiving this package.  I wasn't familiar with the hotel previously.

I'm saving this special tea for my first tea of 2020, and will think of my very dear friend!

The snowman Christmas tree ornament in the above picture was one of the gifts from my Secret Santa at The Whitney.  The box of chocolates is almost gone, and to bring a smile to my face she enclosed a box of knee-highs - the method I use to steep large amounts of loose-leaf tea at the restaurant.  

We're showing our age because my hubby and I will stay in tonight to watch the Waterford Crystal ball drop in Times Square ushering in the New Year of 2020 and a new decade.  I saw a New Year's comment on Facebook that I liked:  "What will the new year bring?"  "365 new possibilities!"

 ~ Pictures from my 2012 New Year's Eve post ~

Happy New Year and may God bless you!  How comforting to know He will be with us  throughout the new year - whatever it holds.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Holiday Happenings

On December 26th our grandson, Brandon, and his wife, Venessa, invited all of his immediate family [plus Jerry and me] over for dinner.  They were so happy to host everyone in their new home.  The temps were in the high 40's - low 50's so Brandon took advantage of the unseasonably warm temps to grill outside.

Brandon, Venessa, and Charlie, their Shih Tzu 

~ Jerry [Great Papa] and Evie ~

Evie opening one of her Christmas presents.

~ John and Tiffany [our granddaughter and her husband] ~

Lori and her sweet granddaughter, Juliette [my daughter and great-granddaughter].

Juliette was just too tired to party anymore!  

John and Tiffany gave us a beautiful family picture.

It was a lovely evening with family.  The only one missing was granddaughter, Marissa. Thank you, Brandon and Venessa for your wonderful hospitality!

On Sunday after church I headed over to the assisted living facility for their monthly tea party.  12 residents attended.   Shore Pointe always decorates so beautifully at Christmas and this year they focused on Cardinals.

Some were perched in the tree and others were in gilded bird cages.

I didn't take any pictures of the residents, but I took a photo of the treats I gave them which coordinated with my topic, Traditions That Make Christmas Meaningful.  

Did you know that Germany has had more influence on Christmas customs than any other country?  Christmas trees, Kugel ornaments, Gingerbread Houses, Stollen [fruited yeast bread], Candy Canes, Advent Calendars, Nutcrackers, and some of our beloved Christmas Carols.

I gave each of them a Little Debbie Christmas Tree cake, and Candy Cane.

Almost every country has their own version of Santa Claus.  Here are just a few:  
Father Christmas - England
St. Nicholas [Nick] - He was born in modern-day Turkey but is celebrated 
                                                             in many European countries.
Sinter Klaas - Holland
Kris Kringle - Austria/Germany
Tomten - Sweden and Finland
Pere Noel - France

I also gave them each a Chocolate Santa Claus.  Since toasted rice was mixed in the chocolate they were called Crisp Kringles [a little play on words by the manufacturer].

I made my last urn of tea for 2019 at The Whitney today.  We had 62 guests for Afternoon Tea.  I'm off now thru Thursday - no alarm clock tomorrow, yay! ;-)  When I return on Friday it will be 2020 and I'll be starting the New Year off by serving 32 guests Afternoon Tea - a fun way to begin the New Year!  January is National Hot Tea Month.

How have you spent these last few days of 2019?