Monday, December 31, 2018

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

The last day of December in Michigan has been overcast and rainy.  The Holiday Belles tour at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House began the end of November and ends January 6th.  My hubby was meeting our two sons at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant to watch a football game with them, so I decided it was a perfect time to take the Holiday Belles tour.

I've toured the mansion many times, but each time with a different docent so I learn something new every time.  Suzanne was the docent today and she was excellent. My January presentation at the assisted living facility will be about Edsel and Eleanor Ford, so that was another incentive for visiting their home today.

The Holiday Belles tour featured the debutante receptions Mrs. Ford hosted for her granddaughters in the 1960's.  She had a total of 8 granddaughters.  I was thinking it might be an exhibit similar to the wedding gowns with actual dresses on display, but it was touch screen digital photos instead.  Below are a few photos that were part of the tour today.  I found them on the Internet because they were in the newspaper. 

The photo on the right below is Eleanor Ford, one of her granddaughters in the middle, and her daughter, Josephine.  Notice the white gloves of the 1960's.

[Lynn McNaughton Ford, Eleanor Ford, and Sheila Firestone Ford]

The old Welcome Center has been demolished to make way for a new one scheduled to be completed in 2020.  During the interim, one of the garages has been turned into a welcome center.  The garages are no ordinary garages - they were part of the tour filled with some of the Ford family vehicles before the new assignment.

Guests enter a large white tent before going into the temporary welcome center.

In one corner a train was set up in a rustic setting for children to enjoy seeing.

Entrance to garage where tour tickets are purchased.

I arrived shortly after 1:00 o'clock so had to wait until the 2:00 o'clock tour.  A shuttle transports guests from the garage to the mansion.  While I waited, I looked around the gift area.

I bought a book about dishes [no surprise there! ;-)].  When we went into the kitchen on the tour, we saw all of Mrs. Ford's china.  She had a large collection that represented all the well-known manufacturers.  I noticed a Shelley breakfast set in one cupboard.

I also watched a short video about Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their beautiful mansion while I waited in the welcome center.

Then it was time to be transported to the mansion.  The 50-minute tour began in the foyer.  It's one of two rooms in the mansion where pictures are allowed.

Mrs. Ford liked a flocked Christmas tree with glass ornaments that were hand-blown at Greenfield Village.

From the foyer we moved to the Gallery which is the largest room in the mansion.  We were allowed to take pictures in that room too.  At one of the December receptions Mrs. Ford hosted for her granddaughters she had the chandeliers removed and Christmas trees hung from the ceiling.  They re-created the scene for the Holiday Belles tour.

Opposite end of the gallery.

That concludes my pictures of the tour.  If you're a local reader and haven't gone on the tour yet, it's definitely worth your time.  You have six days left to make it happen.  The mansion will be closed January 7 thru April 1st for restoration work.

Mrs. Ford has been gone for 42 years [she passed away in 1976 at 80 years of age]. Her four children are deceased as well, and one daughter-in-law, Martha Firestone Ford [widow of Wm. Clay Ford, the youngest child of Edsel and Eleanor], is the only one of that generation left.  She is 93 years old and very active as the owner of the Detroit Lions Football Team.

I'm in my own little mansion right now watching Hallmark movies waiting to ring in 2019.

Happy New Year to all who visit my blog!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Days of December and Christmas Gifts

The holidays are quickly winding down.  This afternoon was my last presentation of 2018 at Shore Pointe Assisted Living.  The subject was 'The Many Names of Santa Around the World.'  I enjoyed the research and learned we can thank the Dutch who settled in New Amsterdam [New York] for introducing us to Santa.  He was called Sinter Klaas then, however.

Over the past few months my daughter has become quite fond of Cardinals, so two of her Christmas presents were Cardinal related - a Lenox Winter Greetings Cardinal mug and a porcelain Cardinal perched on a snowy branch.  When I walked into the foyer of the assisted living facility today I found it decorated with Cardinals, so I couldn't resist taking some photos.

Garlands of Cardinals decorated the entire staircase.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and Santa was good to you.  In this post I'll share the gifts I received.  My hubby gave me a beautiful 3-piece teal velour outfit from Chico's [pants not shown].

For my birthday last year he gave me a tea set by Grace Teaware in the Snowman pattern.

For Christmas Lori added to the set by giving me four teacups in the same pattern.  [They're sold online at The Twiggery.]

Steve and Sharon gave me four matching dessert plates.

Jeremy and Samantha gave me a Chico's gift card and a tin of the Pioneer Woman's Favorite Recipes [Food Network's Ree Drummond].

Izzy gave me a 10-piece cosmetic brush and manicure set.

It's always fun to get surprises in the mail, and my friend, Mary Jane, sent me A Year of Tiny Pleasures calendar.

Some of the days are tea related - for example the simple pleasure for Jan. 4th is the first cup of the day, so she attached a packet of Winterthur Afternoon Tea. 

January 7th's pleasure is dunking your biscuit [cookie] without losing it in the tea.  She enclosed a Harney & Sons White Vanilla Grapefruit sachet and a tea biscuit.

She coordinated little gifts to go with several dates throughout the year which required a lot of thought and creativity.   A BIG thank you, Mary Jane!

Another surprise package that came in the mail is a 2019 calendar with photos of tea treats made by a friend who is an extraordinary cook and baker, along with an ink pen that also functions as a stylus and flashlight.  Printed on it is the phrase, "Drink tea and think of me."

Enclosed was a copyrighted card she made with a poem on the back from her grandmother's 1890 autograph book.  "Drink your tea and think of 'me'... Drink it hot, forget me not."  Thanks, Martha!

My sweet neighbor popped over right before Christmas with delicious gifts.

The small box in front came from Victorian Trading Company.

It contained two packets [8 in each] Sugar Tea Doilies [Edible Lace].

~ Shari's Berries and Shari's Gourmet Pretzels ~

And a tin of individually wrapped Mrs. Fields cookies.  I used them as prizes when we played  It's a Wonderful Life trivia game on Christmas Eve.  They're yummy.  

Last but not least, a gift subscription for Tea Time magazine.  I LOVE Tea Time!  Thanks, Lori!

As you can see it's been a wonderful Christmas, and I'm so blessed.  Now that my presentation is over I have two days with absolutely no commitments, and I'm going to enjoy them to the fullest.  Since December 1st I've had the pleasure of serving tea to 448 guests at The Whitney.  I didn't keep a record of how many cups of tea that equals, but last week's three days [Wed. - Fri.] I prepared over 700 cups of tea, and that makes me happy! 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Redford Theater, Detroit, MI

Last Saturday following the Christmas Tea at The Whitney, I hurried home to change my clothes, then my hubby and I picked our daughter up and drove over to the Redford Theater for the 8:00 p.m. showing of It's A Wonderful Life on the big screen.  We have the DVD, but I had never been to the Redford Theater before, and nothing compares to watching a movie on a big screen, plus spending an evening with our daughter.

The Redford Theater, located at 17360 Lahser Rd., in Detroit, opened in Jan. 1928.  It has a seating capacity of 1,581 and today only shows old films.  We plan on returning in March to see Gone With the Wind.

The theater is like stepping back in time.  My hubby bought popcorn for him and our daughter, water bottles, and three boxes of chocolate candy for $15!  It would have been double that at today's modern theaters.

We arrived a little early [7:00 p.m.] to make sure we got a good seat.  Below are three pictures of the Oriental themed lobby.

At the front of the theater was a HUGE Department 56 Village display for people to view.

And a beautiful big Christmas tree.

~ Our daughter, Lori ~

~ Jerry and Me ~

~ Interior Pictures ~

Old-fashioned live organ music before the movie began.

We were enjoying the movie when we heard a voice call out, "Is there a doctor in the house?"  They stopped the movie and turned on the lights so medical people could make their way to the balcony where the emergency was occurring.  The lady was transported to a hospital by EMS, and since the lights were on and people were milling around they decided to break for Intermission.  With all the commotion it was difficult to regain everyone's attention, and some left.  We stayed until the end to refresh our memories for the trivia game that we played on Christmas Eve.  It was a fun, relaxing evening and I look forward to returning to the theater in March.

For local readers go to to view their upcoming film showings.  If you like old movies combined with a nostalgic atmosphere, you'll like the Redford Theater.