Wednesday, April 7, 2021

From My Corner of Michigan

Monday my hubby and I drove to 12 Oaks Mall in Novi [30 miles from where I live] to buy a pair of Clarks shoes for work.  With so many stores closing and malls becoming deserted, it was nice to see 12 Oaks thriving and bustling with shoppers.   I didn't see any vacated stores.

Walking through the mall we came across Totally Tea - a bubble tea kiosk, so I had to take pictures.

I've only had Bubble Tea once in Victoria, British Columbia.  Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the early 1980's.  Its tapioca balls make it a unique tea-based beverage, comparable in price to Starbucks specialty tea beverages.  Do you like Bubble Tea?

Just before leaving the mall I noticed Penney's had some Easter tabletop accessories on clearance, so I had to take a peek.  I found the cutest wooden bunny napkin rings 60% off, so some came home with me for next Easter.  Six for $20 was a bargain!

Today my hubby and I went to P.F. Chang's for lunch.  I didn't take a picture of the restaurant because I've done that before.   Nor did I take a picture of our Lettuce Wraps and Sesame Chicken, because I've done that before too.  What was new today that I've never photographed was the Oshibori disposable wipes that our server brought to our table before we began our meal.

I don't know if this new amenity at P.F. Chang's is due to the COVID virus, but I thought it was nice. The server brought the unwrapped disk to our table in a small bowl.  It was about the size of a nickel but thicker, and when she poured hot water over it, it immediately expanded.

Below is the expanded wipe before we unrolled it to wipe our hands.  Have you used these at a restaurant before?

Today's fortune cookie said: "A change in plans will lead to a rewarding adventure."  We'll see!  ;-)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!

Life has been busy since I last posted, so today I'll catch up.  Good Friday my hubby and I went to communion at church shortly after 1:00 o'clock.  Then daughter, Lori, came by around 3:30 to pick up the Easter baskets I made for Evie and Juliette [her granddaughters and my great-granddaughters], Peeps & Twinkie Easter bunny race car kits, and Juliette's birthday present. Lori and husband, Dave, spent today with them in Grand Ledge, MI, and took the gifts to the girls for me.  Below are the pictures Lori took and texted me.  It's been awhile since I've assembled Easter baskets and it was fun.  We will FaceTime the girls tomorrow.

Below is one of the Peeps and Twinkie race car kits I assembled for each of the girls.  I also made one to take to The Whitney to show my boss in hopes he'd want to distribute them next year to the children who attend the Tea with the Easter Bunny.  He loved the idea.  I gave the demo kit to one of the servers to take home to her granddaughter.

Juliette turned 2 years old yesterday, April 3rd.  Below is a picture her Daddy posted on Facebook.

Here she is with her present from us [two outfits].

Granddaughter, Tiffany, with her sweet little girls, Evie and Juliette

The family of four.  As you can see, it was a beautiful Easter Sunday in Michigan with a high of 65 degrees.

Daughter, Lori, with her two granddaughters.  She loves them and they love her!

I had planned to make Easter dinner - even wrote out a menu - but daughter-in-law, Sharon, invited us to their house for dinner after church instead, so all I made was a lemon cake to take.

During this interim time while our new church building is being constructed and we're sharing a facility with another church, we've been meeting on Saturday instead of Sunday.  Since I work every Saturday, I've really missed going to our church, although I am able to do a Zoom Wednesday night Bible study and prayer meeting.

Just for Easter, we met today at 9:00 a.m., and were done and out before the other church had their service at 11:00 a.m.  After church, and before going to son Steve's house, we drove by our church property to see the progress and take a couple of pictures.  It's been such slow progress with COVID, but we'll be in sometime this year.

Daughter-in-law, Sharon, had their house all decorated for Easter.  Resurrection Rolls [or Empty Tomb Rolls] were on the table.  I used to make these when the grandchildren were younger.  They are a great tangible way to explain the Easter story to children.  The large white marshmallow inside the dough, which represents the body of Jesus Christ, melts during baking and leaves a hollow roll [empty tomb].  I saw on Facebook this year they've been renamed "Hocus Pocus Buns."  Seriously?!  It saddened me that the emphasis of Christ's resurrection, has shifted to magic.

Granddaughter, Brooke, was home from college, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of her.  Love the little ceramic chicks pictured below representing 'new life.'

After dinner we came home and I took a nap, which I rarely ever do.  Yesterday was a very busy day at The Whitney.  I got there shortly after 9:00 a.m. and got my urns going to make the tea for the 11:00 a.m. seating, warming the teapots, and putting teapot warmers on all the tables.  37 guests attended the first seating.

After all the teapots were filled and I poured the first cup of tea for everyone, I dashed up to the second floor to get things ready for the 12:00 p.m. Tea with the Easter Bunny.  I intended to get a picture of the Easter bunny and the adorable chocolate bunny suckers Chef Eric made to distribute to the children, but it was just too busy and I didn't get a chance.  We had 22 at that tea.  Then I dashed back down to the first floor to get ready for the 1:30 seating.  We had 20 attendees for that.  Whew!  7 hours of fast-paced, non-stop activity, but it was fun even if I was exhausted when I got home.  I did manage to take a picture of the tiered server that Chef Eric put together for yesterday's teas.  This pic was taken at the last seating when things had started to slow down a bit.

I loved the chocolate Easter baskets on the middle tier.

Daughter-in-law, Samantha, texted yesterday that after a marathon of showings on their house Thursday and Friday [over 30] they accepted an offer.  Now comes the task of packing!  They celebrated Easter on Saturday at Samantha's sister's house where there was an Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter bunny for the younger kids.

Granddaughter, Ellie, showing the Easter eggs she found.

It was a great day for all the Barkey clan at their various locations.

I hope you enjoyed a blessed Easter as we celebrated our Risen Lord today!  So grateful for the hope and joy this day represents. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Hello April!

[Internet Image]

When I lifted my bedroom window shade this morning, my eyes beheld snow on April 1st.  It was 60 degrees yesterday!  Gotta love Mother Nature!  While snow's not fun in April, it's not uncommon for Michigan.  Thankfully it's not a large accumulation and won't be around long - temperatures are supposed to be back in the high 60's by the weekend.

Today is opening day for the Detroit Tiger's.  It's going to be chilly at the ball park since the high temperature is only supposed to be 34 degrees.  Bundle up fans in the stands!  The game will be on TV and we'll be watching in our warm family room and my office!

It's also Maundy Thursday, commemorating the day Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper.   The day before His crucifixion on Good Friday.

Off to make myself a cup of tea and plan my Easter dinner menu. Happy April everyone!  Are you planning any April Fools' Day practical jokes or pranks?  April Fools' Day supposedly dates back to 1582.  That's a lot of years of mischievousness! 

Monday, March 29, 2021


I grew up in Wyandotte, MI [a suburb south of Detroit].  It was [and still is] a wonderful city.  In 2016 a Facebook group was established called All Things Wyandotte.  I didn't join the group until about a year ago.  I was a lurker for a long time, just enjoying all the photos and comments posted by current and past residents.  But I recently posted a picture of my father-in-law who was a policeman in the city with a beautiful tenor voice.  He used to go to all the elementary schools and put on safety assemblies, and he'd sing during them which earned him the title, "The Singing Policeman."  I vividly remember him coming to my school, but never in my wildest imagination ever thought he'd become my father-in-law some day! 

Below is the safety pamphlet he distributed during the assemblies.  The little girl directly in front of him is my sister-in-law, and my hubby and brother-in-law are in the photo too, but I didn't know them at that time.

Today Leslie T. Higdon posted a picture of her mother taken at Woodruff Elementary, one of the elementary schools in Wyandotte.  All the schools in Wyandotte are named after American Presidents.  The picture was taken in 1937 during kindergarten class, and Leslie's mom was the little girl at the ironing board.

I especially enjoyed seeing the two little girls at the table sipping a cup of pretend tea.  I asked Leslie for permission to post the picture, which she graciously granted.

She said her mother was English and loved tea.  She had hundreds of teapots, and when she passed away three years ago, they gave away almost 100 teapots at her memorial service. What a wonderful way to honor her memory.

I commented that kindergarten back then [and even when my daughter went in 1972] was a time for social development.  In today's culture children learn social skills in preschool so kindergarten has become very academic.  It's kind of sad that children have to grow up so quickly.

On another nostalgic note...  My daughter-in-law texted a picture this afternoon of the 'For Sale' sign that went up in front of their house today.  They've been working on getting the house ready to list for a while now, but the sign made it official.  Now she's feeling very emotional.

They moved into the house in 2013 and lots of happy memories have been made there.  There are 12 showings scheduled for this Thursday.  The good news is another family can make happy memories there, and Jeremy and Sam and the kids will have another house to make happy memories in.   Life is always moving and changing.

I'm off to make myself a cup of tea while I ponder all the things that have changed in my lifetime.  The May/June issue of Tea Time magazine arrived in today's mail, and I always look forward to reading it.  I'm with Rev. Sydney Smith who was quoted as saying:  "Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea!  How did it exist?  I am glad I was not born before tea."


Sure wish I had a piece of this adorable cake to go with my cup of tea!  My great-granddaughter, Juliana, turns two on April 3rd.  This would go perfectly with the Raggedy Ann doll and book I gave her for Christmas.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Tea and Scones and Shamrock Dishes

You may remember my recent blog post about attending the World Tea Virtual Summit on March 15-16.  Day 1 ended with a happy hour of three perfectly paired scones and tea from Erika's Tea Room in Clermont, Florida.  I didn't order the scones and tea before the summit, but I placed an order afterwards, and they arrived in yesterday's.

I liked the packaging, and enjoyed a happy hour this afternoon all by myself.  I only sampled one scone and tea today - Baileys Irish Cream.  

The tea was a green tea with Baileys Irish Cream flavoring.


I could easily adapt to a daily happy hour!  ;-)  The scones were dense as compared to soft and flaky, but I ate it all so it definitely wasn't bad.  Erika's mother, Leila, is the baker for the tearoom. The scones were at least three days old by the time they reached me, so that could account for the texture.  I'll try warming my next one in the microwave before eating it.  

I follow Susan Herin's blog, Between Naps on the Porch and for St. Patrick's Day she shared pictures of a tablescape submitted by one of her readers.  As soon as I saw the vintage clear glass shamrock dishes I knew I wanted six of them.  The tablescaper said they were fairly easy to find, and quite inexpensive [around $2 each].   

I like finding things to modify my St. Patrick's Day tablescape so it's not identical year after year, so the search began.  E-Bay and Etsy both had the dishes but shipping was so expensive ranging from $7.70 up to $10 for one dish, and the dish itself ranged from $4.25 all the way up to $17.25.  Seriously?!  I decided to visit some local antique and Salvation Army stores instead.  I found my first dish at Salvation Army for $2.24 [yesterday was 25% off for seniors] and one at an antique mall for $4.99.  Four more and the hunt will be done.

Below are two pictures from Susan's blog.  The dishes make a pretty table even prettier.  Their original purpose was for nuts or candy, but they're the perfect size for individual salads and the more shamrocks on a St. Patrick's Day table, the better!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung - it officially sprung last Saturday [March 20th], but I'm just now getting around to mentioning it on my blog. Mother Nature has been blessing southeastern Michigan with glorious weather - 68 degrees and sunny today.  Yesterday was so beautiful my hubby and I resumed our old half-mile walk routine and did the same today.  Time to think about getting back in shape again.

I discarded my Oxalis [shamrock] plant and wilted daffodils and made a trip to Lowe's garden center today to look for something to replace them.  It's still a bit early for an Easter Lily, but the Hydrangea plants were perfect, and one came home with me.

It definitely says Spring!

Yesterday was National Rosie the Riveter Day.  I'm grateful for all the WWII Rosies who paved the way for women in the work force today.

I mentioned in my previous post that I got my second COVID-19 shot last Thursday morning. All went well until about 6:30 that evening, then the shot knocked my socks off me with flu-like symptoms of chills, hot flashes, headache and nausea.  It was a l-o-n-g sleepless night. When morning finally arrived my hubby went to the pharmacy to get some Tylenol because instructions were not to take Motrin.  I slept all day and night on Friday, and by Saturday I was improved enough to go to work.  Fortunately I never ran a fever.  I had no adverse reaction to my first shot, so I wasn't anticipating any reaction to the second one.

I'm feeling great now but there's a large, red welt-like circle at the site of the injection that has increased in size each day.  It's sore, itchy, and feverish.  If there's no improvement by morning my Dr. will take a look at it.  An allergic reaction to latex could be the culprit.  

On another subject, I discovered the Irishmen that I purchased at the estate sale last Thursday are called figurines after all, and they're Celtic Santas even though they don't look Christmassy.  A large variety of them exist and I found an image for the cutest tea-themed one that I'm diligently searching for.  I'll let you know if I find one.

For the record, St. Patty's or St. Paddy's Day?
As the saying goes, "You're never too old to learn," and this year I discovered I've been using the wrong abbreviation for St. Patrick's Day for a very long time.  I've always said St. Patty's Day, while others said St. Paddy's Day.  Erroneously I thought it was a personal preference. Shame on me for not doing my homework, or clarifying it with my Irish mom or aunt while they were still alive.  

One of my blog readers noticed my error and e-mailed me with an explanation. Paddy is the shortened form of Patrick, which is the Anglicized version of the Gaelic name P√°draig. Because St. Patrick's Day is an Irish holiday, and Gaelic is the traditional Irish language, the right nickname is Paddy, not Patty.  [My questioning mind wonders why the nickname for guys named Patrick is Pat and not Pad.  Just sayin'! ;-)]

Even though saying [or writing] St. Patty's Day is a common error, I read it's a major pet peeve for many Irish people.  A website was even founded called but I never knew about it until today. Patty is a shortened form of the female name Patricia, so saying St. Patty's Day is offensive to the male gender.  Yikes!  I'll never say or write it wrong again!

And to muddy the waters... the word Paddy has a contentious history and is sometimes used as a derogatory term for an Irish person.  Maybe it's safer to just avoid any short cuts altogether and stick with St. Patrick's Day!