Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Approaching Another Year

My biological "odometer" will soon be rolling over another year, so I received notification from Michigan Secretary of State that I would need to appear in person to renew my driver's  license before its approaching expiration.  I've renewed by mail the last two times [an 8 year span], so I assumed I'd be taking a written test this time - something I haven't done in many years.  My appointment was at 10:40 this morning.

Any anxious thoughts about a written test were unfounded, because I only had to take an eye exam and get a current photograph taken - which always look like a dreadful mug shot!  A written test probably would have been a good thing to ensure I'm current on all the road safety rules, but I'm glad it wasn't required.

Because my odometer will be turning over soon, a surprise package arrived on my front porch last Friday.  When I looked at the box I wondered what it could be since I hadn't made any Ebay or Amazon purchases.  I noted it came from Harney Teas.

The best way to find out what's in a package and who it's from is to open it!  Inside were three tins of tea with a note saying "Happy Birthday, Love Sandy" [my childhood girlfriend].

I haven't opened the tin of Florence or Soho tea yet, but the Apricot black tea is wonderful.  When my son Steve came over on Saturday, he was feeling pretty rough from a bad cold he picked up toward the end of his recent trip to Israel.  My mothering instinct caused me to immediately put the kettle on and fix him [and me] a cup of the apricot tea.  We both enjoyed the taste and the aroma.  Thank you, Sandy!

Below is a picture of the lovely necklace Steve brought back from Israel for me.  I proudly wore it to church the next morning.

Another surprise arrived in the mail on Saturday from my friend, Louise.  While in a thrift store recently she found a book about Lucille Ball.  Knowing I'm preparing for a presentation about Lucy on February 7th [which she'll be attending], she bought the book and mailed it to me.  Thanks so much, Louise!

Two days of nice surprises.  I'm so blessed!  Now I'm off to have lunch with my son, Steve.  Only today and tomorrow left of January, the Hot Tea Month.  I'll be ordering a pot of hot tea with my lunch.  It's 22 degrees outside and the hot tea will warm me up - on the inside at least.  I'm glad we can drink tea all year long, and not just during the month of January.  As for Lucy, she stated in her autobiography that she wasn't the "crooked-finger-and-teacup" type.  She didn't know what she missed!

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Treasures

I'm on an e-mail distribution list for estate sales, so I receive notifications for sales daily.  I rarely go to any of them, but I always look at the listings near my house and view the photos of items that will be in the sale.

Last Friday I received a notification for a sale near me that was starting on Saturday.  In one photo I spotted what appeared to be a Victorian table accessory - a condensed milk holder.

I learned what they were in July 2015 when I was on a one-day antique outing with my friends Linda and Barb.  In September 2016 I purchased my first one at a local antique store. They're not an item frequently seen.  You can read that post here.

My hubby and I arrived at the sale around 8:15 a.m. along with 26 other prospective and eager buyers.  We waited in line until the doors opened at 9:00 a.m.  It was a mild, clear, morning so we didn't mind.  Jerry and I had street numbers 27 & 28, but fortunately they let all of us in when the doors opened.  It was an estate sale company I had never heard of before - Rose Petal Estate Sales.

With the porcelain condensed milk holder clearly in mind, I headed right for the dining room china cabinet.  Most of its contents had been emptied out except for a few teacups, and were sitting on a nearby table.  I spotted the milk holder and underplate and picked it up immediately, but it wasn't marked.  I asked the man at the nearby check-out table how much it was and he handed me a $2 sticker to place on the lid.  Since I had paid $18 for my other one, I knew it was a bargain and told him I'd take it!  I don't think he knew what it was, nor its market value.

My other milk holder doesn't have an under plate, as those usually get broken over time. There are no makings as to who the manufacturer was or what country it was made, but I'm more than happy with my purchase.

I also purchased a porcelain teapot trivet for $4 - a bargain too.  It was backstamped Germany.

$6 for two great finds.  Jerry and I left the estate sale and went to our usual Saturday morning restaurant for breakfast.  I was one happy estate sale shopper!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Happy Birthday Michigan!

Today is Michigan's 181st birthday, and Mother Nature gave us a sunny, 52 degree day in which to celebrate.

Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837 when President Andrew Jackson signed a bill making it the nation's 26th state.

Michigan is nicknamed the Mitten State because of its shape, and the Great Lakes State because Michigan shores meet four of the five Great Lakes.

I got out my large Michigan mug to drink my Michigana tea in today.  Michigana is a Gunpowder Pekoe Green Tea flavored with cherry, apple and lemon essence, blended by The Rendezvous with Tea in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Monday thru Wednesday I purposely 'cloistered' myself in my house, taking down Christmas decorations and packing them away, and preparing for my Feb. 7th presentation on Lucille Ball.  It's highly unusual for me to stay in the house that long.  Cabin fever set in today, and I went out for awhile.

My presentation at the assisted living facility last Sunday went well, so it's one down and two to go!

I've been spending my Amazon gift cards that I received for Christmas on fun props.  An 8 x 10 tin sign of Lucy, and Lucy stickers to go in the bottom of white candy paper cups. Each attendee will get a piece of chocolate in keeping with the TV episode where Lucy worked in the chocolate factory.

I bought myself a Lucy apron and chef's hat to wear for the presentation.

I also got a fun I Love Lucy cookbook with recipes to coordinate with some of the TV episodes.  The book has cute jokes from episodes too.   Here's one:
  Lucy:    I write a check to the beauty parlor every month.
  Ricky:  Yes, I know that, but they don't always have a little note in the back like this one,
                "Dear teller, be a lamb and don't put this through till the next month."  Now what
                do you got to say for yourself?
  Lucy:    That's why they cell 'em tellers, they go around blabbing everything they know!

The 5-DVD set is all 31 episodes in Season Two.  I purchased it at the antique store in Toledo last Saturday thanks to Louise's keen eye.  I haven't had time to watch any of the episodes yet, but hope to before the presentation.

The book I ordered of Harry Truman's love letters to his wife, Bess, arrived in the mail too.  It's for my presentation about Famous Love Letters, following the Lucille Ball presentation.

On a different subject... this is school board appreciation week in Michigan, and since my hubby is a school board member he came home from Monday night's board meeting with lots of goodies, including a tray of assorted cookies the Enterprise high school students made.

I pulled out a tin of Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey Classic tea from my tea cabinet that I've been enjoying with the cookies my hubby is sharing.

The website 12 Tomatoes sends me a recipe in my inbox everyday, and today's recipe was for Italian Sausage Barley Stew [actually it's a cross between a soup and a stew].  I bought the ingredients to make it when I was out today and it's yummy.  I will make it again for the next Bible study luncheon.

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Green Tea in Israel

My son, Steve, is in Israel right now with a group of 12, most of whom attend our church. He went in November 2016 with my hubby to plan the trip, and hopes to make this 'pilgrimage' every other year taking a different group with him each time.

In the photo below he's baptizing one of the members of the group in the Jordan River where Jesus Christ was baptized.

Below Steve's in a boat on the Sea of Galilee where the Biblical account is given of Jesus walking to the aid of the disciples while they were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a storm arose and the waters grew rough.  Jesus climbed into the boat with them and the storm subsided.  [The narrative is found in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John.]

He's been posting several Holy Land pictures on Facebook, but a few days ago he posted the one below with the comment, "My mom would be proud as I drink Green Tea with mint."  He said he liked it too!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Afternoon Tea at St. Paul's

Following the purse exhibit, we had reservations for the second seating of Afternoon Tea at 1:30.  It was St. Paul's first public tea paired with a HeART museum event, and it was lovely.  It was held in the parish house parlor which was beautifully restored in 2014.   It made us wonder if any old Detroit churches could do something like this???

The Christmas decorations were still up, so the hallways and parlor were festive.

It was such an elegant 'Old English' atmosphere, perfect for Afternoon Tea.

At my place setting was lovely red transferware.

The black tea served was two blends - Samurai Chai Mate and Golden Monkey by Teavana that will be their signature blend.  It was very good - I don't think I've ever had a tea from Teavana that wasn't good [albeit a bit pricey].  The attentive servers kept our teacups filled throughout the entire tea.

~ Our group ~

The tea began with an assortment of homemade scones that were so light and flaky.  

They were followed by a mini cheese and onion quiche and a lentil salad stuffed cucumber.  

~ Next came the three-tiered server ~

On the bottom were sandwiches:  Egg Salad Fingers on White Bread, Salmon on Wheat Triangles, a pastry spoon filled with Olive Cream Cheese Spread, and a savory Macaron.

In the center were Maids of Honour Tarts - a traditional English Puff Pastry shell filled with a cream cheese and lemon curd filling [originally cheese curds] and baked.  The pastry dates back to the days of King Henry VIII.  It is said when he saw Queen, Ann Boleyn, and her maids eating the tartlets, he demanded a taste.  He found them delicious and named them after the maids.  Then he confiscated the recipe and locked it up claiming they should only be for royal consumption.  Oh, that Henry!

On the top tier were desserts:  Fruit Tarts, Snowball Cookies, Custard filled Chocolate Cups, Cream Mint Cookies, and Mini Chocolate Cupcakes.  Yum!

The exhibit and Afternoon Tea combined was only $20 per person.  A real bargain!  Since we were attending a purse exhibit, we all carried unique purses.  I carried my wool felt teapot purse made by a lady in Poland for the first time, Linda carried her vintage Lucite purse, Joanie carried a decoupage purse that she bought at an antique store with beautiful vintage ladies' photographs, and all the way down at the end is Louise with her glitzy champagne and bubbles fringed, shoulder purse.

From the church we went to an antique store that had been recommended to Linda, followed by a stop at the Maumee Antique Mall.  It was a full and very fun day.  Thanks so much for coordinating this event for all of us, Linda.

Monday, January 22, 2018

100 Purses 100 Years

Last Saturday, [1/20] my girlfriend, Linda, coordinated an outing for six ladies to Toledo, Ohio to attend a handbag exhibit at St. Paul Lutheran Church's HeART Gallery.  I was one of the lucky ladies!

The church was established in 1857 and the current building was built in 1868.  

100 purses were displayed in chronological order spanning 100 years, and tracing the changing roles of women from 1880's to 1980's.  I took pictures to share with you. The majority of the purses were to accompany elegant attire until they neared the 1980's, and then they became more casual and modern.  The purses were displayed in lovely vignettes.

Here's to women's purses [handbags] over the years!  

It was an interesting exhibit.  There are 88 purses pictured, so somehow I missed taking pictures of 12 purses.  

I'm certain during my adulthood I've either given away, thrown away, or sold in garage sales 100 purses.  Do you save your purses for posterity, or get rid of them after they go out-of-style or are no longer used?  

I don't consider myself someone who has a lot of purses, and I don't collect them unless they're tea-themed, then I have a hard time resisting.  For fun I counted my purses and found I currently have 36, one of which was my mother's that she carried at my wedding.  Do you have a lot of purses or collect certain kinds?  I'm not swayed by designer purses with big price tags, and I prefer small or medium size purses.

I remembered my tea and blogging friend, Nancy Reppert, writing a post on her blog about a handbag program at her tearoom, Sweet Remembrances in Mechanicsburg, PA.  The 2014 program was called, "It's in the Bag, Handbags, that is!"  If you would like to see the post, click here.  When I was at Nancy's Halloween Tea in 2016, another attendee [who was a purse collector] offered to buy my friend Linda's pumpkin purse for $200 and she sold it.

On December 5th my tea and blogging friend, Angela McRae, asked the question on Facebook, "What do you call the woman's accessory?  a] Purse  b] Pocketbook  c] Handbag and she received 87 responses.  What do you call it?

Whenever I think of purses, I think of Queen Elizabeth II who is never seen without one whether indoors or outdoors.  She always carries it on her left arm unless she's conveying a secret message to those with her, then she switches it to her right arm.

I decided there surely must be handbag teapots, so I Googled it and sure enough there are! Here's two of many.

Purses are such a fascinating subject, and now my mind is swirling about a program of my own, along with things found inside them!   Three books are in my Amazon cart right now about the fashion accessory.  Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pastries are even made in the shape of purses.

Following the exhibit we attended a lovely tea in the church parlor.  Tomorrow's post...