Sunday, June 13, 2021

55 Years of Marriage

Last Friday [June 11], my hubby and I celebrated our 55th Wedding Anniversary.  It doesn't seem possible that five years have passed already since our kids gave us our 50th Wedding Celebration Party, but the clock seems to tick faster every year.

It was a beautiful day with clear skies just like the day we were married in 1966.  My hubby made 6:00 p.m. reservations at the River Crab restaurant on the St. Clair River in St. Clair, Michigan for just the two of us.

We left home early to visit some antique shops in Algonac and Marine City, but we didn't have enough time to see everything, so we'll plan another day trip soon.  It's such a beautiful drive along the river.

Nothing called out to me in the antique mall. I didn't see any small green vases or clear glass shamrock dishes, but it was fun to browse.

Park in Algonac across the street from the Antique Mall.

Marine City has an abundance of antique stores but we only had time to go inside one and I didn't make any purchases, but we'll be back!  We got a yummy pistachio ice cream at The Sweet Tooth.

Then we were off to St. Clair, MI.  The three cities are all fairly close together, and only about an hour's drive from where we live.


Being a Friday, they were quite busy when we arrived, but they were ready for us and even had special menus printed for us with our name and anniversary wishes at the top.

Our server's name was Bailey and she graciously took our picture.

We both ordered the same thing: Martha's Vineyard Salad, and the Ultimate Seafood Mixed Trio [Salmon, Maryland style Crab Cake, and Coconut Shrimp with Ginger Rice and Fresh Vegetable. Everything was delicious, but my favorite of the seafood trio was the Coconut Shrimp.

While we were eating, a freighter passed by on the St. Clair River.  The 40 mile-long river flows from Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair.

Dessert was a complimentary Crѐme Brûlée for two.

It was a very nice afternoon/evening and now we begin working towards #56!  We received several Facebook wishes and texts, e-mails, phone calls, and some lovely cards that included a tea-themed card, handmade by my girlfriend, Sandy.  Thank you to all!


Thursday, June 10, 2021

This Week's Happenings

Last Tuesday I made the drive 'downriver' to my hometown to have lunch with six of the gals I went to high school with.  The husband of one of the gals is in Hospice Care with stage IV lung cancer.  I thought she could use some cheering up so I made her a care basket [tea, mug, Walker's shortbread, beverage napkins, and a 'promise book' with uplifting scriptures from the Bible.]

When I was in the store selecting items for the basket, I saw a commemorative tin of tea with Queen Elizabeth's picture on it, so it went in my shopping cart too.

Yesterday morning [Wednesday] when I was looking at estate sale photos I saw a sale in nearby Sterling Heights [less than five miles away].  The photos showed several teacups including two black ones, so hubby and I decided to drive over for something to do.  We got there around 1:00 o'clock when the buyer's rush was over.  When we got inside I discovered it was the home of a lady who owned a gift shop I used to visit - Foregone Treasures by Arleen Ann.  She closed her shop in 2015 and a lot of merchandise from the shop was in the estate sale.

I bought one black German Bavarian teacup and left the other one from Occupied Japan behind.

She had a price tag on the bottom from her shop of $68.  I'm glad the estate sale reduced it to $10 because I wouldn't have paid her price.

But what really made me happy was finding a glass shamrock dish for $3.  Three down and three to go!  I think I'll reach my goal by next St. Paddy's Day.

Afterwards we went to White Castle for some hamburger sliders.   We haven't been there in a few years and it sounded good.  It's a place your digestive tract won't allow you to visit too often since they're notorious for heartburn. ;-)  We washed them down with big glasses of unsweetened iced tea.  June is National Iced Tea Month, and today is National Iced Tea Day.

I ordered a book titled, The Corner, for my son, Steve, and two mothproof storage bags, and both arrived this week.  I can hardly wait to give the book to Steve.  The Corner refers to Michigan and Trumbull Avenues in Detroit where the old Detroit Tiger baseball stadium used to be.

I sent Steve to an estate sale last week in search of some baseball cards.  It was his first estate sale ever.  He didn't find any baseball cards he wanted, but said he got a great sermon illustration: Don't be consumed with material possessions because you're going to die and leave them all behind and strangers will come and rummage through everything you treasured.   How true!

The mothproof storage bags are for the wool suit and mink wrap I recently acquired that came from J.L. Hudson's Department Store.  I hope they'll be safe from moths for many years in these zippered sweater bags made of natural, breathable canvas with a see-through plastic top.

And last but certainly not least, a sweet lady from church gave me a cute teapot shaped mail or file holder - or possibly a spice rack - and a teacup candle.  Thanks, Lisa.  They're so cute.

It's been a fun week and tomorrow will be the frosting on the cake.  [Next post]

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sweet Shalom Tea Room is Closing

I recently read an e-mail sent to ATAA [Afternoon Tea Across America] members that Sweet Shalom Tea Room in Sylvania, Ohio will be closing soon.  They are putting the beautifully restored house on the market to sell.  The farm house that is close to 150 years old was enlarged and remodeled to a Queen Anne style house in the late 1800's.  The gazebo porch was added in 1920. The house was saved from demolition in 1999 and moved to its current site when the Kruse and Velasquez families purchased it and restored it to its original beauty.

Owners Chris Kruse and Sara Velasquez had a lengthy challenge with Sylvania City Officials before they were finally allowed to open.  My first visit was in 2005 with girlfriend, Sandy. This post is a tribute to Sweet Shalom, and Chris & Sara where I'm sharing photos from all of my visits over the years.  

[Chris and Sara]

The fireplace mantel was always decorated beautifully for their themed teas.

[Sandy and Me]

I had my first pinwheel scone there.  I bought their cookbook in hopes the recipe would be included but it wasn't.  I'm glad I have their cookbook anyway.

My next visit was in 2006 for a Jane Austen tea.  Sandy went with me, and we met up with other ATAA members.  Karen White, the moderator of ATAA at that time, was there.

[Karen on left and Gwen]

[Sandy, Eve and her husband, Bob]

[Karen, Me & ?]

Chris presenting her Jane Austen program.

~ In 2007 was a Tasha Tudor Tea ~

[Mary Jane and me in the back row, Karen, Eve and Sandy in front row]

In 2008 they hosted Tea, the Jewel of India.

[L-R:  Me, Cheryl, Sandy & Ann]

I returned in June 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration Tea with girlfriends, Sandy and Lori.  While all of the teas were wonderful, this was my favorite.

[Chris Kruse]

Toasting the Queen!

[Lori, Sandy and Me]

Coronation Chicken Salad

The showstopper was Flaming Cherries Jubilee for dessert.

January 2013 A Downton Abbey Style Tea with girlfriend, Sandy

Light flaky, melt-in-your mouth scones

~ Sweet Shalom Server ~

Sara - MC'ing a Downton Abbey game we played.

[Sandy and Me]

[Teresa W. - one of the tea room's greatest supporters]

~ 2015 Downton Abbey Tea ~

[Sandy and Me]

The last tea I attended was an ATAA gathering in 2019.  The theme was Birds, Bees and Butterfies.  My girlfriend, Lori, went with me.

Teresa was there with one of her many tea-themed purses.

Co-owner Sara before the program began

[L-R: Eve, Mary Jane, Colleen, Teresa, Me, and Lori]

[Teresa, Lori and Me]

Teresa has coordinated a gathering for one last ATAA meet-up at the tea room before it closes. I made reservations for Sandy and I to attend.  I'll definitely post photos.

Thank you Chris and Sara for all your years of dedicated service and the joy and 'peace' [shalom] you've brought to so many people.  Sweet Shalom will be missed.