Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lucille Ball at Troy Historic Village

I've been missing from my blog lately because I've been preparing for two presentations.  Several months ago [before I started working at The Whitney] the Adult Programs Director at Troy Historic Village, contacted me about doing my Lucille Ball presentation for their "Thursday Teas at Two."  The date was set for today.

This is the second time I've had the privilege of being a presenter there.  In June 2015 I did a program on vintage aprons.

I arrived at the village shortly after 1:00 p.m. to get set up for the 2:00 p.m. tea and program.  

The ladies were busily putting refreshments on the table, and what an array of goodies they had!

~ The Tea Table ~

I especially liked the red cardinal arrangement in a Christmas teacup below.

Thursday Teas at Two are always held in the 1837 Old Troy Church, and today it was all decorated for Christmas.  The dusting of snow added to its ambiance.  It's the perfect setting for a Hallmark Christmas movie, don't you think?

Being the history lover that I am, I read up on the history of the church.  Originally the Georgian style church was Troy Episcopal Church, but transitioned to the Methodists.  The congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Troy met in the building until they built their new church in 1968.  They sold the church and parsonage to an antique dealer, and the City of Troy and the Historical Society purchased it in 1997 and relocated it to the Village in 2003.

Lucille Ball fans are known as "Lucyphiles" and there were many "Lucyphiles" present today.  I don't know the seating capacity of the church, but it was filled - a testament to Lucy's popularity 29 years after her death!  The audience was very attentive and responsive.  The presentation was filmed for viewing on the City of Troy's Cable TV Station.

This is the fourth time I've presented the life of Lucille Ball, so I'm beginning to feel like I know her pretty well.

For readers of this blog who are also "Lucyphiles", CBS will air the I Love Lucy Christmas Special that was filmed on Christmas Eve 1956 on Friday, December 14th at 8:00 p.m.

Presenters are given 45-50 minutes, and amazingly I was able to squeeze all the highlights of Lucy's 77 years of life in that time allotment.  She died on April 26, 1989 four months shy of her 78th birthday.

Before leaving the village I took a few pictures to share.  This is a great historical place to visit, and they have a wonderful calendar of events.  For more information visit their website:  They're located at 60 W. Wattles Rd. just west of Livernois.

Thank you Troy Historical Village for the privilege of being your presenter today.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.  I have SO much to be thankful for, including being able to enjoy a great day with my family!  

My son, Steve, and daughter-in-law, Sharon, hosted our gathering.  I got up at 6:30 a.m. to get the meal underway, and then transported it to their house.  Sharon made potatoes [mashed and cheesy potatoes] and a yummy strawberry pretzel jello salad, and Lori made apple crisp with ice cream.

We ate shortly after 1:00 o'clock.  There were 12 around the table this year.  Daughter-in-law, Samantha, and granddaughters Izzy and Ellie were missing because they traveled to Tulsa, OK to be with Sam's sister and new baby.  Granddaughter, Brianna, was lonesome and homesick in Nashville, TN, but we did get a bit of facetime with her.   

I didn't take a lot of pictures this year, but the ones I did take were after we finished eating.  Jeremy took the group picture to send to Samantha.

[John and Evie]

[Jerry and Lori]


After dinner Steve, Sharon, Brooke and Landon went for a 45 minute walk at Stoney Creek Park to walk off their Thanksgiving meal calories.   With 25 degree temperatures, it was a brisk walk!


When they returned we played games and watched Steve Martin and John Candy in the movie, Thanksgiving - fast-forwarding a couple of parts due to undesirable content.

Today, I'll be going to the Whitney to prepare tea for 22 guests [originally 35 guests made reservations, but the actual count was lower], and Santa [Jerry] is busy in his workshop making a set of cornhole boards for a Christmas gift for Samantha's dad.  No black Friday shopping for us!  

Belated Thanksgiving blessings to all!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Celebrating Birthdays!

In our family birthdays begin with three in June, three in July, two in August, three in September, one in October and two in November - Jerry and grandson, Landon's are the two in November, both on the 12th.

We celebrated Jerry's b-day at Red Lobster on the 13th with part of the family.

Jeremy took Landon on a father/son trip to Chicago to see a Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears football game, so we didn't celebrate with him until Saturday.  I can't believe he's 10 years old already!  He excitedly tore into his laser gift, and I think he liked it!.

Later in the afternoon we went to his basketball game.  He made three baskets, and his team won.

I'm looking forward to being with all the family again on Thanksgiving.  The next birthday celebration will be on December 25th as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  No birthday celebration can top His!

Friday, November 16, 2018


So proud of my granddaughter, Brooke, who was inducted into the National Honor Society last night at Romeo High School.

Tiffany was the first grandchild to be a National Honor Society member [my daughter Lori's daughter], and now Brooke [my son Steve's daughter].  

Congratulations, Brooke!  Last night was just one more reason to be proud of you!  

Lori was in Grand Ledge on Wednesday visiting Tiffany, John, and little Evie.  They went to Cracker Barrel and took this sweet picture of Evie.  I can hardly wait until Thanksgiving Day to see her again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tea-themed Shopping

A couple of weeks ago, one of the members of Facebook group, Afternoon Tea Across America, posted a picture of a Steinbach nutcracker holding a tea tray with a blue and white teapot, sugar bowl, three cups and three plates that she bought at Tuesday Morning.  He's 15 inches in height.

I did a program on Steinbach nutcrackers, so I'm very familiar with them.  They are said to be the world's best hand-carved nutcrackers for over 200 years.  The German company was founded by Herr Christian Steinbach, and is still going strong six generations later. 

The day after Daphne's post I stopped by the Tuesday Morning store near my house.  They had several nutcrackers, but not the one with the tea tray.  There are four Tuesday Morning stores in the suburban Detroit area, so I called two to no avail, and couldn't get through to the last store.

Daphne kindly provided Tuesday Morning's product line phone number and the nutcracker's SKU number.  I was told the Bloomfield Hills store [the one I hadn't been able to connect with] had one.  I happily drove the 25 miles and the nutcracker is now mine!  It's a Christmas present to me, from me!  ;-)  It retails for $120, but Tuesday Morning's price was $59.99.

He's the second tea-themed nutcracker I own, but my other one isn't a quality Steinbach, although I think he's a knockoff of a 1997 Steinbach [pictured below].

[My Knockoff]

Collectible 1997 Steinbach Mad Hatter with a current asking price of $374.99 - waaay beyond my budget!

According to German folklore, Steinbach nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck, and to protect homes from evil spirits and danger - like a trusty watchdog.  They became popular and collectible in the United States in the 1950's after many of the GI's who were stationed in Germany during WWII brought them home after the war.

I also bought three pair of tea-themed socks to keep my feet warm this winter [all from different sources] and a couple of pair for gifts.

Lastly, I ordered a Sandy Clough two-year purse calendar for me and two of my girlfriends.

I purchased a few small things [non tea-related] for the youngest grandchildren that I won't wrap, but will give them on Christmas Eve to keep them occupied until it's time to open presents.

I didn't know they still made pick up sticks.  Remember the colored plastic sticks that used to come in cardboard cylinder containers that were popular decades ago?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  I haven't been able to find any tea-themed boxed Christmas cards this year.  If you have, please share the source.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Friends Who Came to Tea!

When I left for work this morning I anticipated 7 guests for tea.  When I arrived at the restaurant, I discovered 19 guests were coming.  I had to get myself into high gear, but everything worked out fine.  

Cristy Bennett, the lady who does the phenomenal teas in East Lansing that I blog about, had e-mailed me a while ago to tell me she and her husband David had made reservations for today.  I was looking forward to seeing them, and was delighted they brought Cristy's sweet mother, Lila, too.  It was a pleasure to serve Cristy, since she's usually the one serving me.

My girlfriend, Lori, and I will be attending Cristy's Celtic Christmas Tea on December 1st. I'll be sure to blog about it.

Annual Christmas Tea at The Whitney

Whitney's Fourth Annual Christmas Tea will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2018 from 12:00 - 2:30 p.m.

It will be hosted by Mary Jones of Intu Tea [the restaurant's tea purveyor].  The event will include live holiday music, a very special Christmas menu, special guests, and presents.

Tickets are $75 per person and are available through eventbrite.

Seating is limited, so don't delay.  Any local readers who attend, please make yourself known to me.  

*  *  *

As promised in my last post, a tour of the mansion to see the Christmas decorations in several of the rooms [I didn't go up to the third floor for pictures].  It's definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Whitney!

~ Grand Hallway Fireplace Mantel ~

~ Reception Room Mantel and Christmas Tree ~

~ Drawing Room Mantel and Christmas Tree ~

~ Formal Dining Room Mantel and Christmas Tree ~

~ Library Mantel and Christmas Tree ~

~ The Study Mantel and Christmas Tree ~

The music room wasn't decorated yet, so we'll ascend the Grand Staircase to the second floor.  Those are the 16 steps [plus 10 more next to them] that I climb multiple times every time I go to work.  Love the exercise!  ;-)

~ Mantel in Mr. Whitney's Bedroom and Christmas Tree ~

~ Mantel in Mrs. Whitney's Bedroom and Christmas Tree ~

~ Mantel in Mrs. Whitney's Sitting Room and Christmas Tree ~

Mantel in daughter's bedroom - either Flora Ann's or Katherine's, we don't know which, and Christmas Tree.

As with anything, the decorations are much prettier in person, but for readers who can't visit the Whitney a photo tour is the next best thing.