Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Estate Sale and Resale Store Finds

I get weekly e-mail listings for local estate sales [accompanied by pictures of items for sale], but I usually delete them without even opening because I already have enough "stuff." Last week, however, I decided to open the listings and saw one that was close to my house, and after viewing the photos I decided to go. The sale opened last Friday morning [2/24] at 10:00 a.m. To be among the first group admitted to the house my hubby and I got there at 9:15, and even then our numbers were 54 and 55. Those who are really serious about these sales [usually dealers] get there very early!

If you've followed my blog for any length of time you know I collect J.L. Hudson Department Store memorabilia pertaining to Hudson's eateries, and what ladies would have worn when dining there.  In the pre-sale photographs I spotted several Hudson's hats and hatboxes, and I purchased three of them. 

The first is a navy blue summer hat with white beading.  The hatbox says "75 Years of Looking Ahead" which dates it around 1956.  J.L. Hudson opened his first store in Detroit in 1881.  All the hats and boxes I purchased are in excellent condition.  

I've never researched the deceased person of an estate sale before, but this lady intrigued me. I knew she had to be classy because of her hats, gloves, and fur trimmed coats with Hudson's labels. So when I noticed a name on a mobility walker, along with the address of the house, I went on-line when I got home and discovered she had lived in that house 57 years and died peacefully there in July, 2016 at the age of 90.  I'm so glad she left some of her hats for me.  I can't help wondering if she ever dined at Hudson's wearing one of them. Her obituary said she liked to shop, so it's possible. Her possessions reminded me a lot of my own mother, and their ages weren't too far apart.  As a matter-of-fact the house was like stepping back in time to the house I grew up in.  Both ladies had similar tastes.

The second hat is a brown velvet winter hat with sequins and rhinestone trim.

~ Hudson label inside the hat. ~

The third hat is a brown and white summer hat.  I love that all three hatboxes are different. I just booked a Hudson's presentation last week, so these hats will be a wonderful addition to my memorabilia.

The lady must have been a tea drinker too, because she had many lovely bone china teacups. I purchased two.  The pink floral chintz [below right] came from Hudson's, because there was a partial sticker still on the inside. The teacup with violets on the left is backstamped Royal Sealy China, Japan.  Both were $5 each.

For many weeks on my way to the local post office I've noticed a resale shop that appeared to be jam-packed with household items, but it was always closed when I was passing by. Last week, with unseasonably warm weather, the door was propped open when I drove by, so I decided to stop.  As you might suspect, I didn't leave empty handed.  You know I have a weakness for anything blue, so I purchased a porcelain figurine - I'm pretty sure it's a Lefton, but the sticker was removed.  She was $10.

A $3 violet teacup by Duchess also came home with me.  Violets are my birth month flower, so I hope to do a grouping soon, even though the month of February will be past.

And a Royal Albert Lady Carlyle luncheon plate for $4.  How could I pass it up???

So that concludes my shopping spree and purchases.  What treasures have you purchased lately?

P.S.  Have you had your "Paczki" today for Fat Tuesday [Shrove Tuesday]?  When I went to the grocery store earlier, they had a big display set up for selling them.  I'm counting my calories,  so I walked on by.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Gift and a Purchase

In my last post I promised to show you what was inside the cute box that was at my place setting at the Northville Historical Society's Afternoon Tea on Feb. 18th. So here it is... a purse size teabag holder made from an mailing envelope pattern and stiffened fabric.  

Also miniature Polish pottery teacups and a pitcher.  Aren't they cute?  Thanks, Laura!

I also said I'd show you what I purchased at Mill Race J.M. Mead General Store.

Had I not attended Detroit Institute of Art's Chocolate, Tea, and Coffee Exhibition last December 2nd, I never would have known what the Parisian Hot Chocolate Pot was, but I watched a video of it being demonstrated, so as soon as I saw it in the store I knew what it was, and that I was interested in purchasing it, if the price was right - at $28 it was.

Its official name is a Pillivuyt Louis XVIII White Porcelain French Chocolate Pot which holds 29 oz. of hot chocolate.

Original pots were made of expensive metals and only owned by the wealthy.  The wooden molinet [center of pot] is rolled between two hands to create a swirling motion inside the pot that emulsifies the milk and melted chocolate, and makes it frothy.

Picture of the backstamp on the pot below.  Pillivuyt Porcelaine was founded by the Pillivuyt family in France in 1818.  The company is now employee owned and operated.

When I got home I went online to research on my new treasure, and discovered I really did have a treasure.  They range from $292 new to $95 on Etsy used.  Needless to say, I was quite happy with my purchase!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea in Northville, MI

Last Saturday [2/18] I drove to Northville, MI to attend a Clara Ford [wife of automobile magnate Henry Ford] tea at Mill Race Historical Village.  It was a beautiful day for a tea party.

The tea was held inside the village's historic Cady Inn at 1:00 p.m.

It was a sell-out tea, and once everyone arrived both rooms of the inn were filled with ladies and one brave gentleman.

My place setting is pictured below.  Every lady received a long stemmed rose, in honor of Clara Ford's love of roses, and the beautiful rose garden she developed at Fair Lane - the estate where she and Henry lived until their deaths.

The gift box was from a blog follower and friend, Laura, who works with the caterer who provided the meal.  I'll show you what's inside the box in my next post. 

~ My ticket ~

Vicky O'Neil, the caterer, going over the menu items with the guests.

The desserts and scones were placed on the three tiered server, waiting for the sandwiches.

And here they are!

This was the beautiful teacup with violets that I used for the tea.  It was filled with a delicious Cady House black tea, blended exclusively for Northville Historical Society.

Mike and Sue sat directly across from me and allowed me to take their picture.  They drove all the way from Kalamazoo [western side of the state] to attend the tea.  If there would have been a prize for the best dressed, it would have gone to them.

My sandwiches [clockwise]:  Chicken Salad with Cherries on Cinnamon Raisin Bread; Roast Beef with Horseradish on Light Rye; Cheddar Mango Chutney on Italian in the shape of a teacup; and Ham Salad on Wheat garnished with Gerkins.

~ Pineapple Pecan Scone with Lemon Curd ~

As hard as it was, I saved all three of my desserts to bring home to my hubby.  Banana Mini Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Rose Petal Shortbread Cookie, and Chocolate Tart.

Following Afternoon Tea, we walked a short distance to the church for the program presented by Ruth Gatza from the Henry Ford Heritage Association.

[Power Point picture of young Clara Ford]

I forgot to turn off my cell phone [a terrible thing for someone who does public speaking to forget!], and Mrs. Gatza's presentation had barely begun when my cell phone rang. Embarrassed, I hurriedly left the church [rather than fumbling in my purse attempting to shut if off] and took the call outside. I didn't have the nerve to go back in after disturbing her presentation once, so I missed the remainder of the presentation.

I wandered over to J.M. Mead's General Store [which they always open for events], and made a wonderful purchase... next post.  It was a very lovely afternoon, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meet-up With Another Dear Friend

A week ago today [2/15] I met a dear friend for lunch at P.F. Chang's at Somerset Mall.  It had been awhile since we last saw each other, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Before we parted, Ruth gave me a gift bag.  She's from England and her mother and sister still live there, so she asked her sister to gather some tea things that she thought I would like.

Jayne visited Highgrove - the family home of the Prince of Wales [Prince Charles] and the Duchess of Cornwall [Camilla] - so that's where most of my lovely, unexpected gifts came from. Highgrove is in the Cotswolds - south west of Tetbury, in Gloucestershire, England. 

The gift bag reminded me of Fortnum & Mason's signature Eau De Nil color with the addition of purple and the Royal Emblem.

Now I know you're anxious to see what was inside the bag, so I won't keep you in suspense... a shell tea scoop.

Perfect for scooping out the loose-leaf tea in the two tins of tea she gave me.  On the left is Organic Prince of Wales tea blend - Assam and Ceylon black tea combined.  On the right is Royal Flush O.P.1 by East India Company of London. It is a Ceylon [Sri Lanka] black tea. The picture on the side of the tin is of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on their first "World Tour" after her 1953 Coronation.

~ The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea ~

And a lovely teacup from Ruth's mum - made in England by Rosina China for Rington's Ltd.[tea purveyors]. The pattern is Virginia Strawberry.  Thank you SO MUCH, Ruth, Jayne, and Elizabeth! 

After I left P.F. Chang's I visited the Detroit Shoppe at Somerset.  I didn't make any purchases, but it's always a fun shoppe to browse.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monthly Assisted Living Tea

Sunday was the monthly tea at Shore Pointe Assisted Living.  My theme was "The Father of Our Country and His Sweetheart" - appropriate since we just celebrated Valentine's Day, and President's Day was yesterday, and George Washington's birthday is tomorrow.

Twelve ladies and one gentleman attended.  Below are pictures of some of the ladies that attended.

I always take them something to coordinate with the theme, so this month it was Dove chocolate hearts, and chocolate covered cherries in keeping with the story [which is actually a myth created by Parson Weems] that George Washington cut down his father's cherry tree with his hatchet, but was honest and admitted it when confronted by his father.  You remember the famous line, "I cannot tell a lie..."

I told them that even though it was fashionable to wear a powdered wig in the late 1700's, our first president refused to wear one and powdered his real hair to make it white instead, as seen in his photo on our one dollar bill. 

As always, I learned a lot during my preparations that I didn't know before [or forgot], such as, he was widely criticized in the press during his presidency.  Really?  Some things never change!  ;-)

And it's always fun to share at a tea party the fact that George and Martha were tea lovers.

I shared a couple of his quotes that I thought were really good:

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

Since I was speaking to a group of mostly all ladies, I knew they'd enjoy hearing about Martha Washington.  I really enjoyed researching her life.  She endured much tragedy in her lifetime - she outlived two husbands [her first husband died after only seven years of marriage leaving her a widow at age 26].  All four of her children died young - two of them under the age of five, one at age 17, and the other just weeks before his 27th birthday.  She and George Washington were never able to have children of their own.  He was one of the sickest presidents in U.S. history, and it is thought an infection stemming from tuberculosis made him infertile.

She was a doting grandmother to her four grandchildren, and when her widowed daughter-in-law remarried she gave Martha and the President her two youngest children [a boy and a girl] to raise as their own. They were living with them at the time of Washington's presidency.

I closed the program with two excellent quotes of Martha's:

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.  For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition.  We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go."

"I am only fond of what comes from the heart."

~ A tea toast to George and Martha Washington ~

Monday, February 20, 2017

Life Goes On While Counting Teapots

Life's activities continued while I was posting my teapot series, but I opted to continue the series and blog about the other activities afterwards.

I didn't see any of my grandchildren on Valentine's Day but they all received cards and treats.  The youngest three got gift cards to 7-11 for Slurpees [a favorite of theirs].  

[Internet Photo]

Jeremy sent a picture of Ellie after the mailman delivered her Valentine card [the other two grands were in school].

On Valentine's Day I spent most of the day at a friend's house learning a more healthy way to cook. Linda had to change her eating and cooking habits when her husband became seriously ill and was taken off beef, pork, dairy, refined sugar and processed foods. Only recently has the Dr. allowed some poultry [without hormones] and fish [caught in the wild, not farm raised] back into his diet again, but basically they eat veggies, fruit, nuts, and non-GMO [genetically modified] foods. They both feel better and have more energy on their new diet, and as a bonus they've lost weight and look great!

Linda had several books and recipes on her kitchen table when I arrived, all ready to begin teaching me a new way of eating and preparing foods.  After the books, we had a "hands-on" cooking session where I prepared an entire meal to bring home.  It was an educational and fun day, with many cups of tea too.  Thanks, Linda!  Below is just one of the books she showed me, and I brought three others home to read.

Below is a sampling of what we made - turkey meat balls with chopped artichoke hearts and fresh basil instead of bread crumbs. When I got home I made a meatless marinara sauce and 100% whole wheat spaghetti to go with them.  Fresh green beans with garlic, and two kinds of "cauliflower rice" -  plain and with sauteed, chopped baby portobello mushrooms and onions.  I like almost all vegetables and fruits, so this diet is doable.  Now to get my Ninja food processor ordered.

My "Valentine" gave me a dozen red roses and a beautiful silver "Tree of Life" [Biblical] necklace that he brought back from Israel last December. 

We enjoyed an "extended" Valentine's Day by going out to dinner on Thursday evening instead of Valentine's Day. My meal probably wasn't completely compliant with what I learned on Tuesday, but it wasn't too far off, and I declined dessert.

Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts and a Baked Potato.  Yum!

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

*  *  *

P.S.  It's hard to believe, but today marks 1,300 blog posts.  Who would've thought!