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!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Valentine's Day Wedding

A week ago today was Valentine's Day, and I promised I'd tell you what happened at my house in a separate post, so this is that post. 

We had a wedding!  It's hard to top that on Valentine's Day!  My daughter's first marriage ended over 14 years ago, and she devoted herself to raising her three children and didn't begin dating until about four years ago.  At Christmas time the happy couple told us about their plans to marry, and a short time later asked if the ceremony could be held in our home.  Of course, we said yes! 

They wanted our son [Lori's brother, Steve] to officiate.  For valid reasons, they wanted the ceremony to be small and private.  My hubby began making their unity cross for the ceremony.

And I started thinking about how I could decorate the mantel. Cardinals have been significant in their courtship, so I knew they had to be part of the d├ęcor.  The birdhouse was my hubby's handiwork too, and will be used again at the upcoming luncheon we'll be hosting to celebrate their marriage.

A dear friend sent me a silver plated tussie mussie holder/vase just before granddaughter, Tiffany, got married, but since it didn't work out for her to use it, I used it for Lori's bouquet and gave it to her afterwards as a keepsake.

I was able to find a porcelain figurine of a male and female cardinal to use as their cake topper.

The ceremony was set for 11:00 a.m.

We took a few pictures of the happy couple before it began.

[Dave and Lori]

[Lori and Jerry]

[Lori and Me]

~ And the ceremony began ~

~ They wrote their own vows and read them to each other ~

~ Exchanged Rings ~

~ Took Communion ~

~ And were pronounced man and wife ~

[Lori, Dave and Steve]

After the ceremony I had a light luncheon, including a toast with non-alcoholic bubbly.  

As all parents do, we gave them our love and blessing, and pray they have many wonderful years of happiness together.  Happy one week wedding anniversary, Dave and Lori!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Day Off

I worked Monday, but was off yesterday and today, and work tomorrow and Friday.  I was happy to see Amy and her husband, Dave, as guests at The Whitney on Monday.  Amy follows my blog. I usually take her picture, but she was enjoying time with her hubby so I didn't want to bother them with photographs.  It was great seeing you again, Amy and Dave!

I can't believe how fast February is flying by - pun intended as this month's theme at the assisted living facility is 'Birds', and it's this Sunday. So I spent most of my day working on the presentation. While I'll be sharing factual information about birds, there'll be some fun bird trivia too such as cars and sports teams with bird names [for the guys that are slowly increasing in attendance] and bird proverbs and idioms.  I love the one, "mad as a wet hen." We know it means angry, but the story behind it is traced back to the south.  After a hen laid her eggs, she'd want to sit on them until they hatched.  Even if all the eggs were gathered, she'd still sit on the empty nest.  So in order to break her, and get her to lay more eggs, the farmer would lift her off the nest and dunk her in water.  She'd then go right back to her nest, so dunking her in water had to be done two or three times, after which she'd get very mad and start fussing and scrambling about, but it broke her and she'd start laying eggs again.  Who knew unless you're a southern farmer with hens!

On Saturday I'll get the supplies to make the residents chocolate bird nests for their treats.

All work and no play makes for a dull day, so when my hubby came into the office and asked if I wanted to go to lunch at El Charros, our favorite local Mexican restaurant, I said yes.  

By the time we got there it was 1:00 o'clock and most of the lunch crowd was gone.  Hooray, because I've been wanting to take pictures of their winter decorations.  The restaurant has two large dining rooms.  One room has a polar bear and penguin scene above the fireplace [below].

[Click on to enlarge]

The other has an icy winter theme which doubled as Christmas decorations.  The walls are light blue, so all the silver bulbs coordinate beautifully.

The wreath of dangling silver bulbs is suspended from a sky light.  It's prettier in person, but you get the idea.

Close-up of two large wreaths on each side of the fireplace.

I ordered my usual chicken fajita salad, then it was back home and into my office to finish my bird presentation.  I sipped green pomegranate tea as I worked, and El Charros was the perfect break.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Valentine's Tea at The Whitney

Yesterday was the Valentine's Tea at The Whitney.  I don't normally work on Sundays, but yesterday was an exception.

~ Beautiful Whitney entrance ~

We only had ten guests which was significantly less than the Christmas Tea, but reservations were cut off when they had the water main break and were uncertain how long the restaurant would be closed.  

The tea was held in Mr. Whitney's study, which made a more private and intimate setting.  Six of the ten guests were couples, and it's always nice to see men at tea.  I don't imbibe alcoholic beverages, so this Aphra-Tea-siac themed tea was not my idea or suggestion.  I think it's the fourth year they've hosted it.  

Mary Jones, owner of INTU Teas - The Whitney's tea supplier, and me.

I had hoped to take pictures of all the food courses to share, but yesterday was so busy with  brunch guests, that I didn't want to hold things up by taking pictures.

Those who attended said they had a wonderful time.  Did your 'significant other' take you someplace special for Valentine's Day?  My hubby and I have yet to celebrate at a restaurant, but it's on the agenda.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Catching Up...

I've been missing from my blog for a few days, so today is devoted to 'catching up'.  

I hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!  We did at our house, but more about that in a separate post.

One of my blog followers, Joy, introduced me to a wonderful blog called Home is Where the Boat Is.  I'm not a nautical person, but this blog is about so much more than boating.  Mary, the author of the blog, lives in North Carolina and writes about fabulous tablescapes, DYI crafts, recipes, gardening and more, with beautiful photos to accompany her posts.  Recently she posted a DYI floral/candy arrangement made in a mason jar that she purchased at Dollar Tree.  Imprinted on the jar are the words "Made With Love."  I was looking for centerpiece ideas, and hers was cute and affordable, so I made a trip to Dollar Tree [a few blocks from my house].

Below is my version, minus a decorative ribbon and bow at the neck of the jar, because I didn't want to venture out to the craft store following our recent ice storm.  The flowers were from Thrifty Florist [also a few blocks from my house].  I like the arrangement and am placing it on my list of possibilities.  I need a slightly larger inner vase so the flowers aren't so tightly bunched together, but I used what I had on hand.  

I received two Valentine cards from tea friends with one postmarked from Loveland, Colorado.  A city named Loveland sounds like something from a Hallmark movie.  Thanks, ladies!  And last but not least, my 'Sweetie' gave me a beautiful card with money to go shopping. 

I returned to work at The Whitney yesterday after being off for 2 1/2 weeks.  The broken water main shut the restaurant down for a week, causing considerable damage and loss, particularly to the basement where the walk-in refrigerators/freezers are located and storage for the non-perishable items. A staff member took me down yesterday to see the damage. Commercial dehumidifiers are running to dry out the basement.  Mr. Whitney had a portion finished off as his billiard room, complete with coffered oak paneling and a beautiful fireplace.  Most of the paneling had to be removed because the flood waters rose to over 5 ft. before city workers got there to shut off the water, but the restaurant is up and running again, and restoration will be on-going.  The two ice storms [practically back-to-back] accounted for the rest of the time off.  People cancelled reservations to stay home where it was warm and safe, as they should.

And speaking of The Whitney, tomorrow is the Aphra-Tea-siac Valentine's Tea.  I should have blogged about it sooner, but there's still time to make a reservation if you're a local reader and would like to attend.

The website says:  "Explore the romantic side of tea with Mary Jones, owner of INTU Tea. [Mary is The Whitney's proprietary tea blender.  She'll be providing three teas: Red Bird, an herbal; Sparrow, a black tea to which Bourbon will be added; and Strawberry Caramel Rose, also a black tea.]  Sip, Sup, and get in the mood for a post Valentine's Day Celebration."

The price of the event is $75 [reservations can be made through at The Whitney website] and includes a specialty cocktail, three teas, a loveable luncheon, with a decadent dessert, and a special gift.  Tax and gratuity are included, but valet parking isn't.  Due to alcohol being served there's an age restriction of 21 and over.

Mary's deceased husband was a bird lover, so she developed a line of teas with bird names - two of which will be served tomorrow.  She'll be telling her 'love story' about how she was inspired to create this line.

I'll be sharing the weddings of two of Mr. Whitney's daughters that took place in the mansion.  I LOVED the research, and read boo-coo Detroit Free Press archived articles dating back to 1895 to gather the information.  The event is from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m.  If you can come I'd love to see you there!

As a side note, Mr. Whitney's great-great grandson and his wife came to dinner last night at The Whitney.  

A surprise package arrived in the mail this week from my sweet tea friend, Nancy C., in the Upper Peninsula.   Her card said she was thinking of me during my birthday month.  The package contained tea-themed note cards.  Nancy used to write a blog called Two Cottages and Tea.  She's an extraordinary gardener and many of her posts were pictures of tea settings in her gardens.  The note cards were made from some of those pictures.  Thanks for the thoughtful gift, Nancy!

My Mary Frances designer teapot purse arrived in the mail and I love it!

I had to laugh at myself.  I thought long and hard before taking the plunge to spend $162.50 on a somewhat frivlous designer purse.  Then I read a post from another blogger where she told about a Prada purse she bought last year for $1,550 and was thinking about buying another one in a different color this year.  Her post soothed my conscience. What I spent was trivial in comparison, and I completely justified my purchase!  ;-)

As I type this post my hubby is online purchasing airline tickets for a trip we're planning to Southern California this spring.  Several tearooms are on the agenda and we're getting excited.  More on that later as the trip unfolds.

I think I've brought you up-to-date on practically everything that's been happening in my corner of the world, so I'll sign off for now.  Have a nice weekend everyone!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Still Celebrating

I went to a baby shower this morning at the church were I was secretary for 22 years.  It was so nice to see old friends again.  The mommy-to-be is the same age as my son, Jeremy, and they went to school together.  Her dad was Minister of Christian Education when I worked at the church.  And Stefanie became the church secretary when I left.  The theme was "Wild Things" because the baby's daddy has a "critter control" business.  There were adorable stuffed animals on all the tables as centerpieces which were given afterwards to the new baby.   We have to wait for its arrival to know its gender.  

~ Stefanie [mommy-to-be] and her mother, Vickie ~

I forgot my iPhone at home, so I borrowed my daughter's to take these pictures.
~ My daughter, Lori, [middle] with her girlfriends Janette [L] and Missy [R] ~

~ My girlfriend, Lori, and her daughter-in-law, Lisa ~

I don't think I've ever been to a baby shower that began at 10:00 a.m.  The meal was appropriately brunch.  What a great idea!

I had the pleasure of planning the first ladies' tea in this fellowship hall when it was first built.  Lots of wonderful memories in this room with lots of wonderful people!  I miss them, even though I enjoy the new friends I've made at my son's church.

As I was leaving my girlfriend, Lori, gave me a birthday gift which I opened when I got home.  Three black and white teacups for my collection.  They're beautiful! Thank you SO much, Lori!

When I got home more gifts were on the front porch.  My son, Steve, has been in Florida all week so he had these birthday gifts sent to me.  A teapot tote bag [he knows what will bring a smile to my face! ;-)].

And a tea bag tote for my purse.  Isn't it cute?!

 Ellie's first Daddy/Daughter dance was today.  

[Landon, Ellie, and Isabella]

It's been a great Saturday!