Monday, March 18, 2019

Wedding Luncheon

My daughter, Lori, got married on Valentine's Day, but the small, intimate wedding luncheon wasn't held until last Saturday, March 16th at noon.  At Lori's request the attendance was limited.

My hubby and I arrived at the golf club banquet facility at 11:00 a.m. to get things ready. The weather couldn't quite make up its mind what it wanted to do.  At one point, there were snow squalls, but by the time we left home the sun came out and blue skies prevailed.

Sign in foyer directing guests to the right room.

~ Our room set up for 30 guests ~

Centerpieces - which I gave away afterwards.

Steve explained the significance of the Unity Cross used in their wedding ceremony.

~ Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes to go with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ~

And LOTS of pictures!

[Jerry & Me and Dave & Lori]

[Lori with her son, Brandon, and daughter-in-law, Venessa]

Our three children, Steve, Lori, and Jeremy

With their spouses - Sharon, Dave, and Samantha

 Brandon, Venessa, Lori, Dave, and his daughter, Ariel

Jeremy & Sam with kids - Isabella, Landon, and Ellie

Last, but certainly not least, my dear friend, Lori, and her husband, Rick.  Rick taught Dave in Sunday School when he was a Jr. High student, and they were both youth sponsors when our Lori was in a Sr. High multi-state bicycling group at church.  It was only fitting that they should be at the luncheon with us. 

We were missing a few family members, but those who came enjoyed the celebration.  Not included in this post are pictures of Dave's family members [siblings and their spouses, and nieces].  Both of his parents passed away in 2018, but were there in thoughts and memory.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I proudly wear green and the symbols of good luck on St. Patrick's Day because my ancestry on my mother's side is Irish.  But in truth, St. Patrick's Day is about God's blessing [through St. Patrick] rather than good luck.

St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland.  His real name was Maewyn Succat.  He was born into a Christian family that lived on the English coast in the late 4th century A.D.  As a 16-year-old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland.  After six years of captivity, he escaped and returned to his homeland.

He spent several years in religious study, and became a bishop.  After visions from God calling him to return to Ireland to preach the gospel, the Pope gave his blessing for St. Patrick to return to the very people who enslaved him.  He was the obedient missionary responsible for a massive spiritual awakening in the hearts of the Irish people, and won many souls to Christ, and established monasteries, schools and churches all over the country.  

St. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock as a metaphor to explain the Christian Holy Trinity - God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Neighborhood Tea Party

Recently I received an invitation from a neighbor inviting me to a tea party to be held in her home. The tea party was yesterday.  This is the second one she's hosted - the first was in 2013 which I blogged about here.

Eight ladies attended - one was camera shy so she took the picture.  The lady second from the right back row was the hostess.  Five of us are original owners and have lived in our homes for 40 years.  Sadly, four of the ladies pictured have become widowed in recent years.

Donna converted her living room to a formal dining room and the family room became the living room.  The finished basement is their family room.

We chatted for a while in the living room, before moving to the dining room for the tea party.  The lady at the end didn't wish to be photographed, hence her being faceless.

~ My place setting ~

We had several tea selections to choose from.  I chose Twinings Mixed Berry Black Tea.  

My sweet next door neighbor, Lorraine.

Chicken Salad Croissant, Cucumber Round, and Roast Beef & Horseradish on Wheat Triangles.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the other foods.  There were Scones with Strawberry Jam and mock Devonshire Cream, Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Wafer Cookies, and Chocolate Cupcakes.

After we ate, we went back into the living room where there was a drawing for a prize.  It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.  Thanks, Donna!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lunch Date with 'The Girls'

Work has been slow at The Whitney this week.  They were closed Monday for repair work caused from the water main break last month, and Tuesday and yesterday only had two reservations for Afternoon Tea [not many wanting to venture out in 19 degree temperatures], so I drove to my childhood stomping grounds to attend the monthly lunch with a group of 'girls' I went to Jr. and Sr. high school with.  It's been quite awhile since I've had an opportunity to join them.

We met at an Italian restaurant called Sammy's Cucina.  The food was good and the fellowship even better!  Four of the group were unable to attend, but the five of us carried on nicely.  Whenever I'm with them I leave counting my blessings for the good health I've been blessed with so far in life. We've reached the age when health issues surface - three of the gals have macular degeneration, one has MS, and another has had cancer, but thankfully is cancer-free right now.  In spite of their health issues, they're an optimistic, fun-loving group of ladies.

The restaurant had a tea chest which is always a nice treat.  I chose Davidson's Apple-Cinnamon black tea.

It tasted very good on the cold, wintry afternoon.  We sat around the table and talked for two hours, then split up to go our individual ways.

I don't remember how we got on the subject hot dogs and bologna.  Maybe when one of the gals said they were a favorite she had to give up due to gout.  The question arose, how did hot dogs acquire such a name anyway?  "Humm... I said. Sounds like a good Google search topic."  They gave me the job! ;-)

I've never been a big eater of hot dogs and even less of bologna.  I remember the hoopla when it came out that hot dogs were made from undesirable 'leftover' animal parts that were processed with cancer-causing sodium nitrate to preserve them, so I've pretty much stayed clear of them. On the rare occasions when I have made hot dogs they're Hebrew [Kosher] all-beef franks.

But back to the question, how did they get their name?  The Dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied hound dog of German origin.  One story has it that Johann Georghehner of Coburg, Germany created the sausage known as the "dachshund" or "little-dog" in the 1600's.  He traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product, hence the name frankfurter or frank, so the general consensus among food historians is that it's a German creation.  The people of Vienna [Wien], Austria, however, say they created it and called it a "weiner."  So take your pick!  ;-)

The American hot dog [which is dubbed America's favorite food] came from several European sausages brought here by butchers of several nationalities.  A German baker opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand with dachshund sausages in a roll in 1871.  Because they were served piping hot [usually from portable hot water tanks] their name was shortened to 'hot dogs.'  In 1893 they became the standard fare at baseball parks.  [I prefer a bratwurst topped with green peppers and onions.]

A few doors down from the restaurant was a HomeGoods store, so I paid them a visit before making my 40 mile drive back home. One of my neighbors is having a tea this Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to get her a hostess gift. Besides it had been a long time since I visited one of their stores, and which are always fun to browse.

Surprisingly, I didn't see any St. Patrick's Day items, but there was a lot of lovely Easter dishware and decorations. With extreme discipline, I stuck to my objective and only purchased a hostess gift. I hope my neighbor likes it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Fat Tuesday - Paczki Day

[Photo:  Sweetwater's Donut Mill - Kalamazoo, MI]

Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Ash Wednesday ushers in the Lenten Season with its fasting and spiritual introspection.  If you live in an area of Polish descent [as I do], you know all about Paczki [pronounced Poonch-Key].  

The tradition began as a way to use up ingredients such as lard, butter, sugar, eggs, and fruit before the beginning of Lenten fasting.  Paczki is Polish for "little packages."  

They're more than a jelly donut - they have a much richer flavor because the dough is made with more eggs making them bigger and plumper.  Depending on size, paczki can have as many as 400 calories and more than 20 grams of fat.  Yikes!

I read this morning that one local bakery was making 1,600 paczki today.  I used to eat them every year, but I've passed the last couple of years.  

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  Instead of a calorie laden donut, the King Cake is a New Orleans tradition thought to have been brought to the City from France in 1870.  I made a King Cake in 2013, but I haven't tackled one since.

I was thinking food today, but something healthier.  Last month I mentioned a favorite blog, Home is Where the Boat Is, after making a centerpiece featured there.  More recently a Thai Slaw with a Peanut Dressing was shared. It sounded so yummy that I gave it a try for dinner tonight.  You can find the recipe here.

Instead of rotisserie chicken to make it a complete meal, I had some chicken breasts and a recipe for a lime marinade that I was anxious to try, and a new grill pan [courtesy of a recent birthday gift card] with a searing desire to be used.  [Pun intended!  ;-)]

Love this pan!  It's perfect for grilling indoors when it's 19 degrees and uninviting outdoors!  

The chicken breast covered up most of the salad, but hubby and I gave both a hearty five stars.  Our daughter stopped by on her way home from work and sampled it.  She liked it too. This will definitely be on the menu again, but probably with a little less Sriracha.  The lime marinade can be found at Epicurious website.  

At the risk of being awake all night, a cup of Dragonwell green tea completed the meal.  

This concluded Fat Tuesday at our house!  How did you celebrate? 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Victoria, PBS Series

Did you watch Victoria last night - the last episode [8] of season 3?  I will surely miss the series on Sunday nights now, but Jenna Coleman [who portrays Queen Victoria] says she thinks there'll be another season. We can only hope!  Of all the wonderful tea scenes in the series, below is the only tea picture I could find on the Internet.

[Photo courtesy of PBS Masterpiece]

Kudos to PBS Masterpiece for another outstanding series.  

While no one could blame Sophie [Duchess Monmouth and Queen Victoria's Mistress of the Robes] for wanting to get far away from her husband, Duke Monmouth, I hope she doesn't leave her son, William, to come to America with Footman Joseph.  In reality the Duke and Duchess of Monmouth are a fictional couple and didn't exist in Queen Victoria's reign, so I guess I won't be too undone if she does.

Feodora, Queen Victoria's sister, plays the role of the person you love to hate.  She's such a bitter, unhappy person and so underhanded.  I won't cry when she leaves the palace.  ;-)

Guess we'll all have to sit tight and wait for season three of The Crown to begin on Netflix. Filming is finished with the exception of some retakes, so hopefully we won't have too long to wait to get our next 'British Royal fix.'

In the meantime, this is the perfect time to finish the official companion book to the PBS  series.  As Daisy Goodwin [screenwriter of the series] said, "The queen was a great deal more than an old lady in a bonnet". 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Gone With the Wind 80th Anniversary

Happy March!  My hubby and I celebrated the first day of March by going to watch Gone With The Wind on the big screen at the Redford Theater last night, in honor of the movie's 80th Anniversary.

We enjoy the vintage/retro Redford Theater [which opened in 1928].  I've seen Gone With The Wind numerous times [I own VHS tapes and DVD discs], but I never tire of seeing it, even though it's 3 hours and 58 minutes long [excluding intermission].

~ Poster in foyer ~

The movie began at 7:00 p.m. which pressed us to get there on time, since I had to drive home from work to meet-up with my hubby, and then we quickly ate at Applebees before driving to the west side of Detroit.  We got there just as the film was starting, and amazingly found good seats.

At intermission an organist played the organ to entertain and delight the movie-goers.

Also at Intermission Kathleen Marcaccio, a local lady who knows everything there is to know about Gone With The Wind, shared interesting highlights about the film.  I heard one of her informative presentations in October 2014 at my local library.  If you're a local reader and ever get a chance to hear her, don't miss it!  Not only is she an encyclopedia of information pertaining to the movie, but she also has a huge display of memorabilia.

Special guest, Mickey Kuhn, who played "Little Beau Wilkes" in the movie, shared highlights of his experience as a six-year-old cast member.  He's 86 years old now, and is one of the last surviving cast members.  Olivia de Havilland is still alive [103 years old this July] and lives in Paris, France.  

Kathleen sent me the link to the YouTube video made of Mr. Kuhn while he was at The Redford Theater.  He looks good and is mentally sharp at 86.

During our Southern Tea Time Getaway last May, we visited the Gone With the Wind Museum in Marietta, Georgia, and enjoyed it immensely.  

In addition to the two links I've provided above, several other blog posts have featured Gone With the Wind.  Just type the title in the search box in the upper left corner to access the posts.  Below is a favorite picture I purchased.  Scarlet definitely had a habit of slapping people in the face, didn't she?  [Four as I recall - Ashley, Rhett, Prissy, and her sister.] Yikes, encountering her wrath could be painful!  ;-)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Last Post of February

Sunday was a good day at Shore Pointe Assisted Living.  Sixteen attended the tea and presentation on birds. I think it was a lot more fun than they anticipated with several bird idioms, TV shows and mini-series with birds in the title or in the cast [Fred, the pet Cockatoo of plainclothes detective, Baretta 1975-1978 and The Thorn Birds 1983].  Foods named after a bird [Hummingbird cake], a Household item with a bird in its name [Cuckoo Clock], etc.  The game-like questions made them put their thinking caps on.

Parrot jokes abound, so I included some of those, and I love two quotes pertaining to birds: "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." ~ Will Rogers
"You can't keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair." ~ Martin Luther [Temptations will come, but we don't have to yield to them.]

I took a picture of their treats before distributing them.  To tie in the idiom "Mad as a wet hen", I bought Peeps yellow marshmallow chicks to put on top of each nest.  The residents got a chuckle out of that.

The two men who attended [both visitors] had fun with the football and baseball teams and automobiles named after birds.  A good time was had by all.

Shifting subjects to The Whitney now... The General Manager likes to go to estate sales to purchase teacups for our Afternoon Tea.  His latest estate sale yielded four shopping bags of teacups and a Royal Albert Lavender Rose tea set with 10 teacups and dessert plates.  We gently unpacked them today and put them in the display cases in Mr. Whitney's study [which is now a dining room].

Some lady's pride and joy.  I hope there's pretty tea sets in Heaven, don't you?

~ Arthur Wood Tea Set ~

There was one Shelley teacup in this 'find.'

One of the sheet music racks in the Music Room filled with cups and saucers.  We go through them rather quickly because the dishwasher water is very hot and frequently cracks the delicate porcelain, to say nothing of careless, young dishwashers when I'm not there to give them tender loving care.  What a fun job I'm privileged to have!