Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

I completed my fifth full year of blogging in 2016 with a total of 1,272 posts.  Even though I posted last March that I was cutting back, I still managed to write 230 posts during 2016. It's been a year of fun activities and milestones, and I hope you enjoy the review half as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

In January, National Hot Tea Month, I shared my vintage ramekin collection, re-purposing my granddaughter Tiffany's ice skates, and my program at the assisted living facility, 'Let it Snow.'

January's most popular posts, however, were about Season Six of Downton Abbey.  My daughter, Lori, came over every Sunday night to watch the episodes with me.  Don't we wish there was a Season Seven to look forward to this January?

February was a very busy month.  It included a Chicago road trip where I visited the Russian Tea Time Tearoom, and attended a Downton Abbey presentation by Jessica Fellowes at the McAninch Arts Center on the campus of College Du Page.  

It's also my birth month, and my girlfriend treated me to a gourmet lunch at Cafe Fortina with a birthday sparkler in my dessert!

 ~ Cristy Bennett's Valentine's Tea in East Lansing. ~

~ Downton Abbey Days at Meadow Brook Hall with my girlfriend, Lori. ~

On February 24th I was privileged to film my first television program for WBRW TV on the subject of Afternoon Tea.  That day turned out to be one of our biggest snow storms of the year.

On March 21st I filmed my second program at WBRW, 'Dining at J.L. Hudson's Department Store.'  Pictured with me is Nannette Gibson from the station.  It was a fun experience.  

In April I did a presentation at Littlefield Presbyterian Church honoring Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th Birthday.  What a remarkable lady.  Long live the Queen!

In May, Jerry and I took a trip to Boston and New York City to celebrate our upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary.  It was a fabulous trip filled with lots of tea places.

~ Walking the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park ~

~ Carriage Ride in Central Park ~

~ Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, and NYC Dinner Cruise ~

On June 9th, I took my girlfriend, Linda, to Anabelle's Tearoom in Kingsville Ontario, Canada for her birthday.

On Saturday, June 11th [the actual day and date of our wedding 50 years earlier], our three children surprised us by renewing our vows at the same church we were married in [First United Methodist Church in Wyandotte, MI], and a dinner with family and close friends afterwards.

To thank our kids for the wonderful anniversary party, we took our entire family on a dinner cruise on Lake St. Clair on July 1st.

Our three children, Lori [L], Jeremy [M], and Steve [R]

~ Our Grandchildren ~

~ The end of July, I enjoyed Afternoon Tea at Secluded Celebrations in Hartland, MI ~

August included a three-day outing to Lakeside, Ohio, and Afternoon Tea at Tea by the Sea Tearoom with four other fun-loving ladies.

In September I coordinated a Michigan Tea Tour for nine lovely ladies who like tea as much as I do!

 ~ Afternoon Tea at the Royal Park Hotel, Rochester, MI ~

~ Japanese Cultural Center, Saginaw, MI ~

~ Mackinac City, MI ~ 

~ Afternoon Tea at The Grand Hotel ~

~ Festival of Tables in October ~

And road trip to Pennsylvania... Camellia's Sin[ensis] Tea Parlor

~ Sweet Remembrances Tearoom - Halloween Tea ~

November's tea outings were the Tea Haus in Ann Arbor, MI...

and Governor Croswell Tearoom in Adrian, MI 

To round out the year, in December I attended the Holiday Splendor tea luncheon at Pine Lake Country Club to benefit the Governor Warner Mansion in Farmington, MI.  My friend, Linda, [below] was on the planning committee.

Christmas 2016 was wonderful as our family celebrated the birth[day] of Jesus, our Savior!

As 2016 comes to a close, I give thanks to God for His protection and goodness throughout the year.   The ice accident on I-696 last January could have been disastrous, but God had His hand of protection upon my girlfriend and me, and kept us safe.  We even made it to our Afternoon Tea reservation on time!  ;-)

I look forward to God's guidance and blessings in 2017!  "'For I know the plans I  have for you,' declares the Lord..."  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Girl's Sleepover

Before Lori's surgery, Samantha [daughter-in-law], said she'd like to come for a girl's sleepover while Lori was recuperating.  Living over an hour away, she doesn't get to see Lori as much as she'd like, and with three children ages 11, 8, and 4, getaways by herself are few and far between. We scheduled it for yesterday/today.  Jerry went to their house to keep Jeremy company [and give us the house to ourselves], and Samantha arrived shortly after 12:00 noon yesterday.

While watching the 1995 romance/comedy movie, While You Were Sleeping [starring Sandra Bullock in a Christmas holiday setting], we ate meatball Stroganoff, followed by a turkey roaster full of homemade Caramel Corn.  [We only ate a small amount though.]

~ Samantha and Lori ~

Then we watched 8 out of 10 episodes of The Crown on Netflix until 2:00 this morning, and decided to go to bed and finish the other two episodes later today.  

Breakfast was heart-shaped waffles and bacon.  The girls had coffee, and I had tea.

Then we were back to our movie marathon.  We finished up The Crown, Season I [so happy they are filming Season II] and concluded with The Queen released in 2006.  It was a very British sleepover!  ;-)  Samantha left for home around 3:00 o'clock, and a good time was had by all.  

It was two weeks ago today that Lori had her knee replacement surgery and she is progressing very well.  She graduated from a walker to a cane on Tuesday, and the therapist took her outside walking yesterday [the snow and ice have melted and the sidewalks are clear]. She is off most of her pain medication, and is even considering a trip to Kohl's tomorrow to use her Kohl's cash before it expires.  

It's hard to believe only two days are left in 2016.  If I don't get a chance to blog before the old year ends and the new one begins, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Thank you for visiting my blog throughout this year, and your supportive comments.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Gifts

I received many lovely gifts from my family, and will post photos of a few of them.  In 50 years of marriage, we never acquired a nativity set, so this year Lori, Jeremy and Samantha gave us a beautiful one.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

Isabella and Landon went to a children's Santa's shop hosted by a local church in their community, and Izzy chose a wreath, teacup, and chai tea for me.  The teacup is by Royal Stafford, and the pattern is "True Love."  I love it, and will always treasure it.

Brandon's girlfriend, Vanessa, gave us a candle, gift card to a restaurant and a delicious plate of assorted cookies from a local Italian bakery.  They're half gone, hence no photo of them!  ;-)

Tiffany & John, and Brandon both gave us gift cards to restaurants, and I received money and slippers from Steve and family.  Jerry gave me an Amazon gift card and a new Crock-pot and carrying case.  I used the Crock-pot on Christmas Day for Swedish meatballs.

Tiffany's husband, John, is a Worship Pastor, so after he led worship for two Christmas Day services they came back to our house for dinner at 4:30 p.m.  Brandon and Vanessa came too.  We enjoyed a relaxed afternoon and evening with them, visiting and watching Miracle on 34th Street [newer edition].

[Brandon and Vanessa]

Yesterday was Steve and Sharon's 24th Wedding Anniversary which they celebrated in East Lansing with Sharon's parents.  God's blessings for many more!

It's been a wonderful Christmas.  Praise be to God for His unspeakable gift to us - His son, Jesus, the Gift above all gifts!