Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Two Days of Pleasure

Yesterday was a fun-filled day.  When my hubby brought in the morning's mail there was a package from one of my blog followers that I keep in touch with.  

She had written earlier and sent a picture from her son, who travels the world on business, taken at the TWG Tea salon in Singapore.

I researched TWG Tea, and found it was established in 2008 in Singapore with the claim of having the finest luxury tea brand in the world, with more than 800 different single-estate teas. TWG stands for The Wellbeing Group.  The salon apparently sells other tea brands in addition to their own line since my friend's son bought her eight boxes of English Tea Shop teas, and suggested she share some with a tea friend.  Sarah shared some with me and said we'd call it a "belated" birthday gift.  

The Green Tea is from Sri Lanka.  English Tea Shop is as the name implies, a company based in London, England.  Thank you so much for thinking of me, Sarah! 

After opening my surprise package, it was time to head off to P.F. Chang's for lunch with a dear friend.

I arrived a few early minutes ahead of my friend, so I order a pot of their White Tangerine tea to sip during my brief wait.  It was so good.

I ordered my normal Sesame Chicken, and we sat in a somewhat secluded booth for two hours getting caught up on each other's news.  When it was time to leave, our server brought us two red fortune cookies in celebration of the Chinese New Year which began on February 16th. The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival and lasts for 15 days - from the 1st to the 15th day of the first lunar month.  The 15th day is called the Lantern Festival and marks the end of the celebration.  Have you ever seen a red fortune cookie?  

Red is the predominant color of the New Year celebration.  Houses are decorated with red decorations, and the Chinese people dress in red.  In Chinese culture, red is the symbol of happiness, wealth, and prosperity.  It can also ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.  Red decorations are to their festival what Christmas trees are to our Christmas season.

Today the mailman brought a package from another friend.  I met Brynda last year at the Kellogg Manor House near Kalamazoo, MI [on the western side of the state], when she did a fabulous impersonation of Beatrix Potter at a tea.  

We've communicated a few times via e-mail, and she became a follower of my blog.  On the blog she saw that I did a presentation about Shirley Temple Black, so when she came across a book about Shirley she e-mailed to inquire if I'd like to have it.  I never turn down a good book, especially if it's recommended by a librarian!   Thanks, Brynda!  

Then it was time to greet the ladies for our 11:00 a.m. Bible study at my house.  We had a great time together today.

The sun is shining in southeastern Michigan and the temperature is in the 50's.  It's been  two great days!  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Two Tea Events for Locals

There's two upcoming tea events for local readers that I want to share.  The first is the Annual Doll Tea sponsored by the Grosse Pointe Public Library.

It's this Saturday, March 3rd, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Grosse Pointe Farms Pier Park Great Room [350 Lake Shore Dr.].  Advance tickets are required, $5 each for adults and children ages 5 years and older, available at the Ewald Branch only.  For more information contact Melissa Rizer at 313-821-8830 ext. 204.

There will be a light lunch, followed by a doll presentation, and a craft.  Children are asked to bring their favorite doll or stuffed toy.

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The second is the Hinamatsuri or Japanese Girl's Day at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, March 4th from 11:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. 

The event is free and will include demonstrations of a tea ceremony, ikebana flower arranging, and a beautiful display of Hina dolls in the Great Hall.  Workshops featuring traditional crafts will be offered.  For more information click here.  

These two events will provide a fun weekend for girls living in or near the Detroit and Grosse Pointe area.

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On a completely unrelated subject [but I have to share it because it was so exciting], yesterday was a 'red sticker' Sunday at my church.  We're a relatively new church plant that has been meeting in a school until we can build our permanent church building. Our 24 acres of property are paid in full, and we've been saving for the building down payment.

As a progress visual, we have a large giving thermometer.  For every $5,000 given to the building fund, a red sticker is attached to the thermometer. Yesterday was a 20 sticker Sunday, representing $100,000 which gives us the necessary down payment to move forward. Now it's getting past the many township building requirements! Another 10 stickers representing $50,000 are pending, so these are exciting days at Orchard Ridge Church of the Nazarene!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Handbags / Purses

Ever since I attended the purse exhibit in Toledo, Ohio last month [which you can read about here] I thought they would be a fun topic for a presentation.  So I used up my Amazon gift cards that I received for Christmas on three books about purses.  I haven't had time to read them yet, but I will soon.  [I finished Sunday's presentation today.  Yay! Huge relief!]

In any presentation, props are essential.  I haven't saved my purses through the years, and neither did my mother, so I have to keep my eyes open for suitable ones at estate sales and resale shops.

In an estate sale notification yesterday that wasn't too far from my house,  I noticed some purses in the photographs.  So my hubby and I were at the sale by 8:15 this morning to get our street number for admittance.  We were #8 and #9, among the first group to be let into the house when the sale began at 9:00 a.m. 

The purse pictured below was the one I was hoping to get, but a man beat me to it.  It had a $25 price tag.  It's a vintage lucite/bakelite/or celluloid purse from the late 1940's through the 1950's.

All was not lost because I did purchase three other purses that I think will make nice props.  I liked the blue jean purse because it fits in the novelty category, and was only $5.

The other two purses that I bought were more elegant.  The needlepoint purse was $7.

The gold purse was the most expensive at $9.   The three purses totaled $21, so I'm on my way to building a collection, although I'm not going to get too carried away.  All my props are stored in totes in the basement, and labeled for quick and easy access.  Someday, when I stop doing presentations, I'll sell the props and coordinating informational books.

This is what it looks like unfolded.

Since almost all my presentations are given at a tea, it only seemed fitting that I should get a ceramic teapot in the shape of a purse.  This is an Annie Rowe teapot called, "Picadilly."  Isn't it cute?

When roaming around on E-bay I happened to see a Judith Leiber, Austrian Crystal Clutch purse for $1,950.  It won't be a part of my props collection or personal collection either!  ;-)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Promoted to Heaven!

When I went to my computer yesterday morning the first thing I saw was the announcement that evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham, had died at 99 years of age.  One of his quotes had come to pass: "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it.  I shall be more alive than I am now.  I will just have changed my address.  I will have gone into the presence of God."  What a great day it was in Heaven yesterday!

Facebook is full of tributes to him and I've been blessed reading and listening to all of them. He was my daddy's age - both were born in 1918 - and his appearance even reminded me of my dad.  But my dad, far less known than Billy Graham, went to be with Jesus seven years ago in 2011. 

Dr. Graham inspired me to share my faith on my blog, and I wrote about it on June 30, 2013.  You can read the post here.  I wrote Sunday Reflection from June 2013 through September 2016, then I turned my attention to my in-home Bible study.

I loved what Dr. Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said in her written tribute about her dad's message to the world: "Jesus is the only way to God.  It's hope for the future, love for the present, and forgiveness for the past. It's fresh beginnings, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven's door."  His children said what he preached publicly on platforms around the world, he lived privately behind closed doors.  That's the test of integrity and authenticity.

TODAY anchor, Kathie Lee Gifford, came to Jesus Christ through Billy Graham, as did her parents and husband.  Speaking on "Megyn Kelly Today" she gave an awesome tribute to Billy Graham, as well as publicly declaring her faith in Christ.  If you missed it you can view it here.  When asked why she's so bold about her faith, she answered:  "If you had the cure for cancer would you keep it quiet?  I have the cure for the malignancy of the soul and it has a name - it's Jesus.  You just have to receive Him.  Not a religion - but a relationship with the living God.  They're so different.  We don't need more religion we need more Jesus."  If Billy Graham could have looked down from Heaven and heard her words, I'm sure he would have said, "Right On!" 

I'm not going to end this post by saying "Rest in Peace, Dr. Graham," because I'm certain he won't be resting in Heaven.  He'll be casting his crowns at the feet of Jesus, where he'll worship Him forever and ever, and he'll be talking to the disciples and the Apostle Paul, and all those who've gone on before Him.  

Dr. Graham fought the good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give him at that day..."  II Timothy 4:7-8 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Time With the Grands

Jerry and I got to see the youngest 'grands' twice within four days.  We went to Chelsea last Saturday, and celebrated my birthday with them which included a visit to Jet's Pizzeria  where there were large screen TV's to keep track of the Michigan State basketball game.  They beat Northwestern in a close score of 65 to 60.

[Ellie, Izzy, and Papa]

Jeremy, Samantha, and the grands gave me a generous Barnes & Noble gift card which I will use for Beatrix Potter books. The assisted living facility called today to get the March 25th date on the calendar.  With Easter so close, I told them my theme would be Beatrix Potter and how Peter Rabbit came to be.  I'm looking forward to getting into it, but first I have to finish my program for this Sunday.

If all goes well with my schedule this Saturday, I hope to see the Peter Rabbit film that was released on Feb. 9th.  

World Market has 37 Peter Rabbit products, so I think a trip to Ann Arbor [my nearest World Market store] is on the horizon.

I noticed Republic of Tea came out with Peter's Garden Tea.  The description says, "With a belly full of McGregor's freshly snatched garden goods, this blend of spicy ginger and slightly sweet orange bergamot mint soothes and comforts."  The herbal tea is available at World Market.  The price is $12.25 for a tin of 36 sachets.  Wouldn't it be fun to serve that at the tea?

Back to the 'grands'... Isabella had her spring festival band concert last night, so we made a return visit for her concert.  Chelsea schools have a great music program.  Izzy is fourth chair so it's hard to get a picture where she can be seen.

I was able to get a good one when the band director asked the students who had participated in ensemble competitions at Michigan State to stand.

 Izzy's group.  She's on the far right.

She and the other participants won a metal which they're proudly wearing.

I took the photo of her below after last night's concert.

Papa always takes us to Big Boy's restaurant for desserts after her concerts, so more picture taking followed there.

[Jeremy and Landon]

I splurged on a Butter Pecan Blast - A grilled pecan roll topped with butter pecan ice cream and caramel sauce.  Yum!

Being with family is the best way to spend time!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sampson and Delilah

I've been busy preparing for this Sunday's monthly tea program at Shore Pointe Assisted Living ["Be My Valentine"] and next Tuesday's ladies Bible study [Michal - King Saul's daughter and David's wife found in I and II Samuel].  In addition I've been trying to keep up with Dr. David Jeremiah's Bible study on the Book of Revelation by listening to his daily radio broadcasts online.  It's a difficult book to understand, but Dr. Jeremiah is taking it apart verse by verse and chapter by chapter.  The study began on February 5th and will go through June.  I'm enjoying it immensely.

No exciting tea events to write about this week.  We're in a heat wave yesterday and today with temperatures in the 50's.  The good news is it's melting all the snow, the bad news is it's been raining for two days.

Yesterday afternoon our son called and asked if we wanted to go see the newly released movie, Samson and Delilah, with him and our granddaughter, Brooke.  We gladly accepted his invitation.

The movie was just released in theaters on Feb. 16th.  We enjoyed it.  When I got home I went to Judges 13-16 to refresh my mind on the Biblical story.  The movie takes its liberty to embellish Scripture by adding some things that aren't written, but it did include many things true to Scripture.  I discovered this morning that an earlier Samson and Delilah movie was made in 1949, directed by Cecil B. DeMille.  I was only two years old when it came out so I've never seen it, but it did become available on DVD in 2005.   

And speaking of age, a friend recently posted an article [below] on Facebook.  Even though I believe age is a state of mind, I was happy to see that I'm now classified in the "middle-aged" category! ;-)

Now I'm off to make myself a cup of Harney & Sons Apricot tea, and get back to my research.  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Three Is Charm

As the week winds down and I take the weekend off from blogging, I have three unrelated things I wanted to share.  The first was a surprise envelope I received in the mail from a local blog follower.

Laura had read about the Valentine's Tea/Luncheon at Samaritas Senior Living last Sunday from a newspaper article promoting it.  She had planned to come until the snow storm made travel foreboding.  So instead she sent a Valentine card with the newspaper clipping, a coupon for P.F. Changs, and some tea bags/sachets.  The newspaper article was actually the same invitation that was placed on each table at Samaritas the day of the tea luncheon.

She mentioned in her note that Fraser Tea was blended locally in Livonia, MI.   I had never heard of Fraser Tea before, so the tea packets definitely piqued my interest. I immediately went to their website at frasertea.com, and found the story of three brothers and their adventure into the world of tea very interesting.  Of course, I had to brew a cup of their tea.  The packet I sampled was Watermelon Oolong.  The steeped sachet produced a pale greenish/faint amber hue, with a wonderful watermelon aroma. The taste was light and refreshing, and was just as good on the second steep as the first.

Their website gives the description "a virtual summer picnic in a cup!"  Watermelon Oolong Organic Tea combines fresh blueberries and tropical flavors [coconut, mango, papaya, and pineapple] with lemongrass, osmanthus and cornflowers to produce a delicate, fruity taste.  I highly recommend this tea, and I will definitely be contacting Fraser Tea.  I couldn't find when their company was founded, but I'm thinking it's relatively new.  Thanks so much, Laura, for introducing me to this local tea purveyor/blender!

Secondly, I received my DNA results from Ancestry.com on February 8th.  No wonder I love Great Britain so much - it's in my blood!  

I had always been told by paternal relatives that I had some American Indian and German in my blood, and some French from my mother's side. Western Europe [according to Ancestry.com] stretches from Amsterdam to the peaks of the Alps, and is dominated by France to the west and Germany to the east, so my slight French and German heritage is 12%.  28% Ireland was no surprise since my maternal grandfather's surname name was Sullivan. There wasn't a drop of American Indian!  ;-)  Now I know for certain my earthly ethnicity.  As a side note: even though it doesn't show in my DNA [but I hope it's visible in my lifestyle] when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I became a child of God. And that ancestry - available to everyone - is the one that truly matters.

The DNA kit was a Christmas present from my son and his family.  Steve received a kit as a Christmas gift from his wife in 2016, and he was anxious to compare his DNA to Jerry's and mine.  Jerry is still waiting for his results to come back. 

Last, but certainly not least, my daughter went to visit her grandaughter [my great-granddaughter] yesterday, and Tiffany posted the picture below of Evie and Lori on Facebook this morning.  It was so cute I just had to share it.  Evie is 9 months old now and crawling.  A visit to Grand Ledge to see her is on the horizon! Isn't she adorable? Of course, I'm very prejudiced! ;-) 

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Afternoon Tea at Royal Park Hotel

My hubby and I had 12:15 reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Royal Park Hotel, thanks to my girlfriend Lori's generous birthday gift.  It was a gray drizzly day, so Afternoon Tea was the perfect pick-me-up!

We arrived a few minutes early, so waited in the library until they were ready for us.  Mary, the hotel's tea hostess, fell and broke her wrist, so Trevor capably filled in for her.  Below is the corridor leading to and from the gallery where Afternoon Tea is served.

Trevor explained our tea choices from the Mighty Leaf tea chest.  I chose Pear Caramel, and Jerry chose Earl Grey - both black teas, and both very good.

Our table was beautifully set.  The Royal Tea comes with a glass of champagne or sparkling cider.  We chose sparkling cider, which hadn't yet been brought to our table.

Teapot of Pear Caramel tea. 

Three course tiered server. 

Their menu hasn't changed from previous posts.  Savories from 12:00 o'clock position:  Egg Salad Tomato Bruschetta; Rosemary Puff Pastry with Roast Beef, Cheddar and Horseradish Cream; Smoked Salmon BLT on Rye; Aged Cheddar Cheese Creme Brulee with Orange and Date; Cucumber with Herb Cream Cheese on White; and Hickory Smoked Chicken with Pear Chutney. 

Hot Hors d'Oeuvres were Pear-Almond Brie En-Croute, and Spanakopita.

Freshly baked English Fruit Scone with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream.

Desserts from 12:00 o'clock position were:  Dark Chocolate Decadence; large Chocolate covered Strawberry; Orange Cheesecake Pop; Shortbread Cookie; Cranberry Orange Bread; and in center Raspberry Tart. 

Currently, Afternoon Tea is served Thursday thru Sunday from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Reservations are required.

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I thought I'd also include the photos from our Valentine's dinner last night at Andiamo's Italian Bistro.  Between my birthday and Valentine's Day I've been doing some nice dining.  ;-)

Jerry and I made it very easy on our server and both ordered the same thing - Chicken Marsala.  I got the Italian Wedding Soup and Jerry got a salad.

For dessert we shared a piece of Cassata Cake.  It was a very nice evening.

What did you do on Valentine's Day?