Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2020 Year in Review

2020 was a year none of us will ever forget.  We were all eager for it to end and a new year to begin.  I only wrote 104 posts in 2020 - the lowest number since I began blogging in 2012.  With the lengthy quarantine, blogging activities were limited.  But in spite of the pandemic and all the social and political unrest, there were still some happy memories.  Pour yourself a cup of tea while I review the year from my perspective.

January - I took my sweet granddaughter, Ellie, to Afternoon Tea at Tea Party Castle

February - I celebrated my birthday with a co-worker at The Whitney

And Valentine's Day with my two adorable great-granddaughters, Evie and Juliette

March - Three grandchildren surprised us with a COVID quarantine poster on the front porch

April - Not even COVID could prevent us from celebrating Easter and our Risen Lord!

May - My first Zoom Tea Party with the Royal Park Hotel and Tea Hostess Mary Kuhn

June - A long overdue tea outing to St. Sabbas Russian Orthodox Monastery Tea House

July - The Pink House Tea Room in New Baltimore

And a two week trip out west to North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.  We traveled 4,655 miles and made memories to last a lifetime with son, Jeremy, and his family. 

August - My sweet daughter Lori's birthday.

September - First day back to work after restaurants were closed to prevent the spread of COVID.  It was a brief reopening because we were soon shut down again. Facemasks became a part of daily attire.

October - First World Tea Virtual Summit and Whitney Halloween Staff Party

November - I celebrated my hubby's and grandson Landon's birthdays.  2020's Thanksgiving gathering was much smaller due to COVID.  We only celebrated with our son, Steve, and his family.

December - Christmas

As the saying goes, "Out with the old, and in with the new".  2021 lies before us and we ask for God's guidance and blessing.

Monday, January 11, 2021

It's Always Tea Time

It's hard to believe we're into the 11th day of January already, but time has a way of marching on whether we want it to or not.

There's not much new to write about. I've been doing the 'same ole, same ole' - in other words, scanning and editing old photos for my next Shutterfly album which will take me up to the time of my sweet daughter's birth [Aug. 1967].  It's so much fun going down memory lane via old pictures, but a little bittersweet too realizing how many relatives and friends have passed on, and how much Mother Nature has changed my appearance with the passage of time!

I received a surprise in today's mail from my girlfriend.  She received a tea-themed key ring for Christmas and thought it was cute and ordered one for me.  Don't you love getting unexpected surprises in the mail?  Thank you, Sandy!

What teas have been in your teacup during these first 11 days of January?  January is National Hot Tea Month and tomorrow [Jan. 12th] is Hot Tea Day, so drink up!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Pantone 2021 Colors of the Year

Pantone has selected two colors this year - "Illuminating Yellow" - a bright and cheerful yellow and "Ultimate Gray".   I'm onboard with cheerful yellow.  It reminds me of many kitchens that were painted yellow in the 60's.  It also reminds me of lemons, school buses, sunshine, and sunflowers, and even my cup of green tea this morning that steeped to a light lemony yellow color [Harney & Sons organic Green with Citrus & Ginkgo].  But the color gray doesn't motivate me at all.  It's not a happy color and makes me think of  drab, cloudy winter days .  

A quick Google search reveals we can expect to see a lot of yellow in this spring's fashions. Initially I didn't recall ever owning a yellow outfit, but then I remembered buying two casual yellow outfits for my trip out west last summer.  Do you wear yellow or grey?

Did you know School Bus Yellow was specifically formulated for use on school buses in the US in 1939 because it attracts attention faster than any other color?  Who can forget the canvas-coated raincoats kids used to wear?  Maybe they'll make a comeback this year toned down from mustard yellow to Pantone's illuminating yellow.  ;-)

How have you been spending these first five days of the new year?  I stayed up watching a Hallmark movie on New Year's Eve and switched channels just before midnight to watch the crystal ball drop in New York City's Times Square at midnight, ushering in the New Year.  I fell asleep to the sound of fireworks going off by party revelers.

My hubby and I spent New Years Day at our son Jeremy's house.  Our daughter-in-law's parents were there too.  The guys watched football all afternoon and the women chatted in the kitchen.  There were also 8 active children who kept the house very lively.

Hubby took our outdoor Christmas decorations down today, but Tiffany's ice skate from when she was a little girl will remain on the front door through winter.  The indoor Christmas decorations will remain up a little while longer too.

I finished up another Shutterfly photo album Sunday night and sent it winging it's way through cyberspace.  It's the years 1965-66 after high school graduation and the beginning of marriage with our first rental home in Altus, Oklahoma where we were stationed with the U.S. Air Force. 56 pages of happy memories!  The cover says thru 1967 so I'll have to live with my error.  I'll take a short break before resuming work on the next album.

I ordered Joanna Gaines [HGTV's Fixer Upper star] two cookbooks which arrived in the mail.  Lots of good recipes inside.  Both are best sellers.  Joanna makes no claims of being a chef or culinary expert.  The recipes are uncomplicated meals she makes for her family.  She has a new cooking show on Discovery Plus, which I haven't subscribed to yet, but plan to.  The previews look great.

I have always made printed menus of every meal I prepared for company and special occasions and have kept them over the years.  My goal for next Christmas is to make a cookbook with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Birthday recipes along with pictures of our celebrations for my granddaughters.  I'm excited about the project.  The older I get the more I think about my legacy which is why I made the Tea Time with Nana Shutterfly album for Tiffany this past Christmas.

I can't think of a better way to close this post than by sharing some adorable photos Tiffany posted on Facebook of her sweet little girls, Evie and Juliette, playing in the snow a couple of days ago. She told Evie as soon as there was enough snow on the ground to make a snowman they would go outside and do it.  Evie didn't let her forget that promise.  ;-)

When you're young, you enjoy getting out in the snow and playing in it.  When you're my age, not so much!  ;-)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Santa Came to My House

As promised, today's post will share the gifts I received for Christmas.  It was a very tea-filled Christmas.  My family knows what I enjoy!

My daughter and her husband were in Savannah, Georgia last month, and while there they visited The Tea Room on Madison Square and bought me some wonderful Christmas gifts.  It brought back delightful memories from my May 2018 visit.

Their gift box was filled with lovely things...

The Tea Room's Christmas Box 

Containing:  1 oz. of their custom black Christmas Tea; 1 oz. of their signature Emperor's Bride;  1 oz. of Tea for Ruby, an herbal likened to a Ginger Snap Cookie; and  a 4 oz. package of Tee Kandis - the German name for sugar crystals [rock sugar].  Tee Kandis is a popular product throughout Europe and especially Germany.  Directions said to pour hot tea over the Kandis in a cup and listen for the crackle.  Walker Shortbread cookies and a tea strainer were also part of the Christmas box.

In addition to the Christmas Box was 2 oz. Asher's Georgia Peach tea; 2 oz. Savannah Breakfast; and 4 oz. Creme Brulee.

Also a teaspoon, and a Savannah teabag holder...

A Savannah toile tea towel with the The Tea Room embroidered on it and a teaspoon rest...

A package of Carolina grits and a Savannah mouse pad.  I see some Shrimp and Cheesy Grits in my future!  

And two commemorative magazines.  They really spoiled me!

Izzy made a collage of photos of her with Papa and me and gave me a box of my favorite candy - Chocolate Covered Cherries.

Gifts from Steve, Sharon and Brooke, and Jeremy, Samantha, Izzy, Landon and Ellie were:  Four teacups and saucers in the Plaid Poinsettia pattern by Grace China.  They ordered them from Replacements Ltd. since they came out in 2019 and are difficult to find in stores this year.

The sugar and creamer.  The only thing missing is the teapot.  It was ordered too, and was supposed to be delivered on Dec. 16th, but the USPS has managed to lose it.   Two visits to the post office has produced no results.  They don't know where it's at!  Grrrr...  It's presently out-of-stock at Replacements Ltd.  If/when it returns to stock another one will be ordered.

A pkg. of Green Tea Garden from the British Tea Pantry in Tecumseh, MI, and a tea-themed gift caddy filled with Carol Wilson's teacup notecards and notepad.

And one more tea towel - you can never have too many of them.

My hubby got me a Ninja 2-basket Air Fryer and Cookbook.  I can hardly wait to use it!

And Sarah Young's book, Jesus Lives - a companion to her Jesus Calling devotional books.

Jerry and I also received a couple of restaurant gift cards that we can use whenever our governor decides the restaurants can reopen!   We'll know her intentions on January 15th.

My sweet girlfriend gave me a 2021 gift subscription to Tea Time Magazine.  My  favorite magazine!  Thank you, Lori!

Yesterday an unexpected package arrived from one of my blog followers.  It contained some packets of Fraser Tea [blended in Livonia, MI -], and a Green Tea Mint Chap Stick.  Thank you for thinking of me, Laura. 

As wonderful as every single gift was, the greatest gift this Christmas was Jesus, God's Son, who came to earth in human form to be the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins and provide eternal life to every believer.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your incredible gift of love.  

My hubby and I plan to spend a quiet evening at home tonight welcoming in the New Year.   I recently read a great devotional about the New Year.  It recommended before setting any goals or resolutions to spend some quiet time with God thanking Him for who He is, what He's done, and acknowledging He's more than enough for whatever lies ahead.  And then asking Him what His goals for us are instead of focusing on our own.

Happy New Year!