Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great-Granddarling Evie

Our new great-granddarling, Evie, was a week old yesterday.  We haven't seen her in person yet, but a visit is forthcoming very soon.  She lives just over 100 miles away.

Tiffany developed an infection two days after she got home from the hospital, and had to return last Sunday when surgery was required.  Fortunately she was in the OB special unit afterwards, so little Evie got to stay with her.  They both came home from the hospital for the second time yesterday, just in time for Evie's one week birthday.

Because everybody loves a baby, I'm sharing a few of John and Tiffany's pictures. 

Our daughter took a week's vacation from work to go to Lansing to stay with Tiffany at the hospital and then go home with her afterwards.  John took the pics below while Lori was napping in the hospital chair with Evie.

~ Not a care in the world. ~

Back at home again where Ollie has accepted not being the baby anymore.  He relinquished his position to Evie without any problems.  In fact, he's watching over her.

Evie's a contented and good-natured baby, and is already sleeping through the night. Wonder what was going through her little mind to produce a smile in her sleep.

I went shopping for a tea-themed outfit for her but couldn't find a thing.  I began my search at Babies R Us, then went to The Children's Place, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Target, and J.C. Penney, but nobody had anything for an infant girl pertaining to teacups or teapots. They had everything else though!  I was so bummed.  Guess I'll have to special order something from Etsy.   The little outfit below is what I ended up with.

More photos to come after my first visit...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Violet Teacups

I've been wanting to photograph my violet teacups for quite awhile, so today's the day! Hopefully, this is the beginning of grouping teacups of the same kind together.

My birth month is February, and the flower for that month is violets.  Knowing that, you'd think I'd have lots of teacups and dishes with violets on them, but I only have seven teacups. 

Two of them are birthday teacups.  The first is Royal Albert Flowers of the Month Series - Violets. Eventually I'll get the plate to match so I'll have a trio. 

The other is an opalasque/iridescent demitasse teacup by Norleans, Japan.  

Nikoniko EW China from Japan.  It has violets on the inside bottom of the teacup too.

~ Royal Albert Teacup ~

~ English-made by Radford Potteries ~

~ English-made by Duchess China Ltd. ~

~ Royal Sealy China, Japan ~

That concludes my violets collection for now!  I'm off to the store to purchase a tote specifically for them.   Do you collect violet teacups and china?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

The city where I live always has a big garage sale over Memorial Day weekend.  It's held in the parking structure next to City Hall.   My hubby and I went over this morning around 10:30 [30 minutes after the opening time of  10:00 a.m.].

There didn't seem to be as many vendors this year, but it was fun looking at the booths of those who did participate.

In one of the last booths, I spotted a photo of Lucille Ball.  I love Lucy, but not enough to pay $40 for her picture, so I settled for a copy on my i-phone instead.  ;-)

After the garage sale we went to White Castle for lunch.  We treat ourselves to heartburn from the hamburgers about twice a year!  Local readers will understand exactly what I mean. ;-)

Then we met our youngest son, Jeremy, and his family at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI where my parents are buried.  The cemetery was very busy with people who had come to pay their respects to loved ones. 

My mom was not in the military, but she anxiously waited for my dad's safe return from WWII. She is buried in the same plot as my dad - three years a part.  Front and back of their gravestone.  

We were amazed how many veterans have been buried there since my dad's burial.  There was only one row of markers behind his on Memorial Day 2011, and now they go back as far as you can see.

~ Granddaughters Izzy and Ellie with Jerry ~

We watched the National Memorial Day Concert live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on PBS last night.  It was SO good, and required more than one tissue.  God bless our military!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Post Getaway Musings

Trying to get back in the swing of home life after a trip takes a day or so.  When my hubby collected the mail from our neighbor it included the Lucy teapot I purchased from E-bay.  It wasn't my first choice, but I didn't want to pay $61.50 for the one I liked best when it would only be used as a presentation visual.  The one I got for $40 will work just fine.

In reading Lucy's autobiography I discovered she didn't like tea.  Early in her career [before Desi] she had a romance with a British actor. When he proposed, she declined saying she couldn't picture herself in a British lifestyle since she wasn't the teacup type. Hmmm... maybe tea could have been a solace during the many ups and downs in her life.

The closest Desi came to tea was when his septet played at the Sunday afternoon tea dances at the Roney Plaza in Miami Beach.  

Tea/coffee cups were little more than studio props to the couple. Desi and Lucy personally approved everything that went into the Ricardos' apartment on the I Love Lucy television show, including the Franciscan Ivy dinnerware pictured above. When Googling I Love Lucy teacups, only the Franciscan Ivy tea/coffee cups come up for $39.99.  Memorabilia mugs are plentiful, however. 

[Internet Photo]

The Lucy and Desi DVD that I ordered arrived in the mail after our return home.  It's 3 1/2 hours to watch, so I haven't sat down to it yet.  Desi and Lucy's daughter, Lucie, directed and produced the documentary about her parents.

On this Memorial weekend when we honor those who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces, it's fitting to note that Desi was drafted in the U.S. Army in February 1943.  He wanted to go overseas, but when he broke his kneecap during basic training his role became entertaining the men at army camps and hospitals. Though disappointed, keeping the morale of military personnel up was a necessary assignment. Lucy said the day Desi became an American citizen was the proudest day in his life. Having lived under a dictatorship in Cuba, he appreciated democracy.

In the autobiography I was reminded that when Lucy was three years old [1914], her parents moved from Montana to Wyandotte, Michigan [the city where I grew up], where her father was employed as a telephone line crew foreman. Her father became ill with grippe [influenza] that turned into typhoid fever, and he died at the age of 28. She and her five-month-pregnant mother returned to Jamestown, New York [where she was born], to live with her maternal grandparents. Her stay in Wyandotte was just under a year.  For local readers, the rental apartment where she lived was on Biddle Avenue, but was demolished in 1963. She returned to Wyandotte at least two other times later in life.  

Lucy was a natural strawberry blonde, not a redhead, although she had the fiery temper that redheads are often accused of possessing.

In addition to closing this post with wishes for a great Memorial Weekend, I thought I'd share a picture of a cake I made on Memorial Day in 2014.  Three years ago - wow, time flies!

Raising my teacup in tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives in the armed forces to preserve the freedoms I enjoy today.   God bless and protect the United States Military!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mackinac Island Day #2

Our day began with breakfast in the main dining room.  Breakfast at The Grand is as good as dinner.  You can order off the menu or go to their fabulous buffet, or both.  I opted to order the Spinach/Tomato/Wild Mushroom Omelette with Fingerling Potatoes from the menu, and the Granola Yogurt Parfait.  And, of course, tea [which happened to be Lipton].  

I was hoping for another seat by the window, but no such luck this time.  I didn't ask though, so it's not a complaint. The server placed the crisp, white linen napkin in our lap at breakfast and dinner.

After breakfast we decided to brave the "liquid sunshine" [as my hubby called it], and walk down to the shops on Market Street and Main Street. Northern Michigan is 2-3 weeks behind downstate weather wise. Our daffodils and tulips are mostly gone, but they're in full bloom on the island.  

Our daughter-in-law's parents came to the island right behind us, and below is their photo of the tulips.

I didn't recall seeing the turtle sculpture [totem ?] before, but I'm sure it was there. It's amazing what you notice when the streets are empty.

Our lilacs are in full bloom, but they're only beginning to bud on the island.  I was hoping to see some, but it was too early.  The 69th Lilac Festival is June 9-18, which will be perfect timing. I took a couple of pictures of the blossomless lilac bushes, which are so large they're like trees.

Because it was cold and rainy we were practically the only ones on the streets.  The only people on bicycles were island employees.  The sun did manage to pop out later in the afternoon, but we were already back in our hotel room when it appeared.

We went in the Lilacs & Lace gift shop on Market Street.  It's where I purchased a black teacup last fall.  For the most part, black teacups are the only ones I'm currently collecting, and they had another beautiful black and gold teacup that Jerry got for me.

~ It's a Crown Staffordshire. ~

Normally the Main Street sidewalks are bustling with tourists, and the streets are filled with bicyclists and carriages, but not last Monday. Only one lone bicycle in front of the restaurant.

I photographed the Sanders store since it's a Michigan based business, and I didn't remember it being there before [although I'm sure it was].  When the island is in full-swing with tourists it's hard to tell what stores are on Main Street.

We walked down to Murdick's Fudge, one of several fudge shops on Main Street, but Murdick's is the original fudge shop.  I found their history very interesting.  In 1887, father and son sail makers, Henry and Jerome [called Rome] Murdick, were commissioned to create canvas awnings for the new Grand Hotel on the island.  With them came Mrs. Murdick [Sara], and her exquisite confectionery skills and recipes.  Mackinac Island's first candy shop opened in 1887 as Murdick's Candy Kitchen.  Rome used his mother's recipe to make fudge, and his renowned marble table gave the fudge a unique texture and also provided a "stage" on which to show visitors how fudge is made.  The business took a brief hiatus during World War I when sugar was rationed, but by 1920 they were back and they even survived the Great Depression in 1929, when all the other fudge shops closed down. The family business has transitioned a couple of times, but Sara's recipe and technique is still used.  Today, they have a Murdick's Fudge shop at Martha's Vineyard too.

They offer 23 flavors, and I purchased a slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge [Jerry's favorite], a slice of Butter Pecan, and a slice of German Chocolate for the combo price of $19.95.  I'm eating the German Chocolate as I type.  It's SO good!  I should point out that the whole time I was on the island I gave up all thoughts of dieting, and now that I'm home I can't let the fudge go to waste! ;-)

After our shopping excursion, we walked back to the hotel and arrived a bit waterlogged. A warm shower felt wonderful! Had this been my first trip on the island I'd have been bummed, but since this was my 9th visit, I'd already biked the island, taken a carriage ride of it, and seen all the other attractions, so I didn't mind spending a leisure afternoon at the hotel.  I took along my two Lucille Ball books, and between travel and time spent at the hotel I was able to finish one and get well into the other. 

It's rare to get a photo of the parlor/lobby when there's no one milling around.  Marriage Conference attendees were all in a conference room.  Later in the afternoon the lobby was bustling with Afternoon Tea guests, which I opted to pass on this visit.  Amongst all the tea drinkers Jerry despicably ordered a cup of coffee!  ;-)  

A view of the main dining room at the other end of the parlor.

At 6:00 p.m. we returned to the parlor to have our photo taken by a hotel photographer, and then we went to main dining room for dinner.  

Dinner was scrumptious!  I chose Lemon Herb Poached Shrimp Cocktail as my appetizer.

My soup of choice was Asparagus Soup.  It was so good I was hoping I could find a Grand recipe for it online when I got home, but to no avail. A letter to the chef might be forthcoming. Jerry ordered chilled Strawberry-Watermelon Soup and he said his was tasty too.  A complimentary book, Live Healthy, Live Grand, was in our room, and it contained the recipe for the strawberry-watermelon soup which I will definitely try when I get some Midori [melon liquor]. The recipe only calls for 1/3 cup so it won't be enough to make us tipsy! ;-)

The mixed greens salad is the same one we were served last fall.  I love how the greens are in the shape of a bouquet held together with a cucumber slice.

For my main entree I chose Wild Mushroom Raviolis with Fava Beans and Tarragon Ricotta. It's the first time I've ever seen stripped ravioli, but it was delicious.  Jerry ordered baked Atlantic Salmon.  The man at the table next to us raved about his BBQ rubbed Rack of Lamb, that I almost regretted not ordering it instead.

As good as The Grand's signature Pecan Ice Cream Ball with Fudge Sauce is, I wanted to try something different and went with Tiramisu.  I wasn't disappointed.

After dinner we walked down to the lower level where I spotted a vintage theater advertisement for one of Shirley Temple's movies.  

Then it was back up to our hotel room for the evening.  We awoke early Tuesday morning so we could have our luggage outside our door at 8:00 a.m. so it would be waiting for us when we got to Shepler's dock on the mainland.

We had one final breakfast to enjoy in The Grand's main dining room.  I decided to go to the buffet rather than order from the menu.  This fortified me for the return trip home.

It was still misty and overcast when we boarded the 10:00 a.m. Wyandot ferry for our trip back to the mainland.  The 83-foot ferry was built in 1979 and can accommodate 265 passengers.  It was named after a vessel that sailed the Straits area in the late 17th century. Fortunately Lake Huron was much calmer returning to Mackinaw City than it was when we went to the island, so the ride was smooth, but there weren't any daring souls who rode top deck. 

It was a wonderful three day getaway and we arrived back home safe and sound around 3:30 in the afternoon.  I hope you enjoyed traveling along with us vicariously.

*  *  *

As an add-on to this post I have to share a picture of great-granddaughter Evie that Tiffany just posted on Facebook around 4:45 p.m.  They are leaving the hospital for home.