Friday, January 31, 2020

Last Day of January

It's hard to believe the first month of the new year is gone already!  This last day of January was a work day and we had two delightful guests for Afternoon Tea... Elizabeth and Sandra.

As soon as they walked through the front door in beautiful pre and mid Civil War outfits I knew I wanted to take their picture, and they graciously granted me permission.  I thought they might belong to an reenactment group, but they don't. Elizabeth [on the left] is a seamstress and makes costumes.  Sandra is her good friend.  They're big Jane Austen fans.

The Whitney grand staircase was perfect for photographing their beautiful outfits.

We had two other guests today who were special too - a pre-school little boy and his brother who was probably in kindergarten or first grade.  They came with their mother and grandmother and were dressed in matching light blue sport coats with red bow ties.  They were perfectly behaved little princes.  Because they were children I didn't ask to take their picture to post on the Internet.

I always say, "You meet the nicest people over tea!"  And my job allows me to meet them frequently.  I love my job!

Monday, January 27, 2020

A Busy Weekend

Saturday my hubby and I went to the funeral of a man from church who had not yet reached the age of 70.  The preceding Thursday we went to the funeral of my cousin who was 67. Very sobering to contemplate our brief and temporary life on earth.  Thankful both of these men had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and were ready to meet Him as they crossed over into eternity.

After the funeral we got a bite to eat and then went to see our granddaughter, Brooke, perform in Little Shop of Horrors.  Her role was a hobo.  In a nutshell, it's a musical about a florist shop in a poor area of town with a plant that survives [and grows very large] on blood, but it wasn't a gory musical.

Yesterday [Sunday] was the monthly tea and program at the assisted living facility.  There were 11 in attendance and three of them were men which was unusual.  Everyone enjoyed the program about Million Dollar American Princesses. I didn't have time to present all of the information so they asked if I'd do Part II next month.   It's a very interesting subject.  Their treat was a 100 Grand candy bar.

The other two books I ordered on the subject finally arrived and I've thoroughly been enjoying them.  The Titled Americans is about the three Jerome sisters from New York City who married British aristocrats.  Jennie, the middle sister, married Randolph Churchill and is the mother of Winston Churchill.  To Marry and English Lord is about several American heiresses who traded their wealth for British titles.  Most of them had very unhappy marriages.  Consuelo Vanderbilt, who also married a Churchill, is pictured on the cover of the book on the right.  My conclusion is that money, material possessions, titles or prestige are the source of true happiness!

The March/April issue of Tea Time magazine arrived in today's mail.  I'm anxious to read it over a cup of tea.  My first cup of tea this morning was Adagio's Peach Oolong - great taste and wonderful aroma.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Million Dollar American Princesses

I recently purchased a ticket to attend a local historical society's tea and program on February 1st where the topic will be Million Dollar American Princesses.

The Smithsonian channel did a series with the same name in 2014-15.  It was presented and narrated by Elizabeth McGovern who portrayed Cora Grantham in the Downton Abbey series.  As you will recall, Cora was a million dollar American princess.  At the time, I didn't have access to the Smithsonian channel so I never got to see the series.

Between the upcoming tea and pondering what I would present at the monthly assisted living tea on January 26th, I delved into information about Million Dollar American Princesses.  I ordered the Smithsonian DVD's and three books.  So far only the DVD's and one book have arrived.

I've been enjoying the DVD's immensely, but since the book just arrived in today's mail I haven't had a chance to read it yet.  I'm still waiting on To Marry an English Lord and The Titled Americans to arriveObviously, since my program is only five days away I won't have time to read them, but it will make interesting wintertime reading.

I'm focusing on Mary Leiter, Jenny Jerome [Winston Churchill's mother], and Consuelo Vanderbilt.  Of those three million dollar American princesses, only one - Mary Leiter - had a happy marriage.  She was Julian Fellowes inspiration in creating the character of Cora Grantham.

Below is a picture I took from my front porch last Saturday morning.  We got about six inches of snow and then the snow turned to rain and froze when the temps dropped below freezing.  

My granddaughter, Izzy, came to stay overnight on Saturday, and we hunkered down inside the warm, cozy house. I tried the tea her parents recently brought me from Babington's tearoom in Rome - Roman Holidays.  It's a blend of seven black teas scented naturally with roses and vanilla.  Ever since my bout with the flu my taste buds have been skewed and nothing tastes as good as it should, so I'll have to wait and give this tea another go when my palate has returned to normal.  

For local readers: When I opened my Facebook page last Sunday this post and picture from The Whitney Facebook page came up.  

"Explore the romantic side of tea with Mary Jones, owner of INTU Tea and our own Tea Director, Phyllis Barkey.  Chocolate & Roses, Cinnamon & Saffron... Sip, sup and get in the mood for a post Valentine's Day celebration.  Ticket includes specialty cocktail and teas, a loveable luncheon, decadent dessert, and special gift.  Tickets and details are at the website:"

I'll be there, but this is one of Mary's events that will be held on Saturday, February 15th.  Mary is The Whitney's tea blender.   If you come, please be sure to introduce yourself to me.

Another thing I learned about on Facebook last Sunday was "Tea Flights".  I had never heard of them before.  Wineries and breweries have popularized alcohol flights, so the tea industry has jumped on board with teas.  My research revealed they're a type of tea tasting - usually 2 oz. of three different teas for the purpose of educating people about various teas.  The going rate seems to be $8 per tray. 

Below is a tea flight bamboo tray used by Tea Source in St. Paul, Minnesota, but I found pictures of tea flight trays used by several tea vendors.  We learn something new everyday, and we're never too old to learn! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Surprise Gift

Last November, three ladies from the Daughters of Isabella [a Catholic women's group] came to Shore Pointe Assisted Living to hear my presentation about Lucille Ball because they're considering the program for their group.

I received a text from one of the ladies this morning saying she was near my neighborhood and wanted to drop off a package.  I've only met her once, but I told her that would be fine.  She was on her way to another appointment and didn't have time to come in, but handed me the lovely pink gift bag below.

Inside was a 2020 I Love Lucy calendar with pictures of different episodes for each month of the year.

The gift bag also included a lovely tea-themed figurine.  I've been collecting tea-themed figurines a long time, but I've never seen this one.  It's called 'Tea for Two' angel tea party.  Two children and two angels.  I hope that's symbolic of tea parties in Heaven!  ;-)

Backstamp: © 2002 Bill Stross for DEMDACO

I was so touched by her kindness and thoughtfulness.  Thanks for making my day, Lisa!

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Visit to Tea Party Castle

In 2010, before granddaughter Ellie was even born, I took granddaughters Brooke and Isabella to Tea Party Castle.  They were ages 4 and 7 at that time and absolutely loved it.  It was such a magical, fairytale experience.  Here's their pictures. 

Fast forward 10 years... Ellie saw the photos and has been asking if I'd take her.  Tea Party Castle is on its third owner since 2010, and it's been difficult to get a date for an event that worked for us.  But in early December they posted a Dolly and Me tea party scheduled for Jan. 12th.  I contacted my daughter-in-law to see if the date worked for Ellie, and when she said it did I purchased our tickets.

Yesterday was a horrible day in Michigan weather-wise.  Mother Nature sent freezing rain throughout Saturday night, and by Sunday morning all the roads were ice covered.  But Tea Party Castle said the tea party was still a go, so Ellie and I braved it.  Below is eight-year-old Ellie when we arrived at 11:15 a.m.  It was a sold-out event and all the other little princesses braved the weather too.

The tea party was first, before the little girls changed into their princess gowns.   They served lemonade and real flavored tea.  Ellie chose lemonade.  The tiered server held assorted crackers, cheese, fruit, cookies, and decorated mini-cupcakes.  Ice cream with a magical spoon that turned colors was served after they finished the tiered server.

The two 'big girl' princesses were delightful.  They gave the little girls a mini etiquette lesson about their napkin and teacup, and used a little ditty about a teacup and saucer I had never heard before:  one is for sips, one is for drips, and one is for lips.

Then it was time to pick out their princess gowns.  Ellie wanted a pink gown, and it took three tries before she found one that fit just right.

Then she went into another room to have her hair done.

Here's the transformed princess!

After all the little girls had been made up, they sang and danced with the big girl princesses.

The tea party concluded at 3:30 p.m. with lots of fun and happy memories for all the little princesses.

For local readers, Tea Party Castle is located in Shelby Township, MI.  The cost for the Dolly and Me tea party was $52.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

After being home bound for a whole week with the flu, I was beginning to get cabin fever. Most of my symptoms are gone [just a lingering cough now] so my hubby and I decided to go see a matinee showing of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  There were only two other couples in the theater besides us, but the movie's been out since November 22nd. Have you seen it?

Mister Rogers' children's television series was on the air while my children were growing up, but it wasn't one they watched.  

Tom Hanks did a great job portraying Fred Rogers.  One critic said "Many a movie will make you laugh or cry or think, but very few make you want to be a better person." Hanks deserved the Cecil B. DeMille Award he got at the Golden Globes last Sunday.

Without any spoilers [for those who might not have seen the movie yet], it's a true story about a relationship that developed between Rogers and a cynical journalist who had the assignment of profiling him for Esquire magazine.  The core of the movie is goodness, kindness, and forgiveness - Biblical principles Fred Rogers knew well as a Presbyterian minister.  

I wish I could tell you there were lots of tea scenes in the movie, but I didn't see a single teacup.  I had to wait until I got home to give tea its proper recognition!  ;-)

In closing, Happy 38th Birthday, Princess Kate!  I read she celebrated at a family tea party with William, George, Charlotte, and Louis.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Checking In...

I've been down with the flu the last four days, so haven't felt like blogging. But my granddaughter, Tiffany, sent me a picture of her family on Christmas morning wearing the red buffalo check pajamas I gave them.  I promised I'd share a picture when she sent it, so here it is!

~ Thanksgiving Day opening their pj's ~

John holding Juliette, Tiffany, and Evie [Evelyn Rose]

Buffalo checks never looked so cute!  ;-)  The photo was taken at John's parents' house, so Oliver, their golden retriever, was at the kennel and missed the photo shoot in his buffalo check pajamas.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

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It's hard to believe we've entered a new year and new decade.  2019 went by so quickly.  This is the day for making resolutions and setting goals.  I recently heard a speaker say statistics show if goals aren't written down it's unlikely they'll happen.  Some choose one word to focus on throughout the new year.

I read two devotions this morning for January 1st. One focused on the word 'contentment'.  We should always strive to do our best, but to say "I won't be content until this or that happens" means God is not enough for us now.   

The second devotion was from my new book Jesus Always by Sarah Young, with the opening line "Don't Dwell on the Past."  The two words she focused on were gratitude and joy.  Gratitude produces joy.

I have SO much to be thankful for... the love and forgiveness of my Heavenly Father and all His blessings, which includes wonderful friends, some of whom I've met through blogging and the tea world.

My first cup of tea in 2020 was Teakruthi's exquisite Ceylon White Gold Tips [pictured above].  It was so light and delicate, and will yield at least two more steepings.  Very grateful to the friend who sent it.  What was your first tea in 2020?

I LOVE Pantone's Color for 2020 - Classic Blue.  As you know blue is my favorite color and Pantone says it instills calm, confidence and connection.  Its enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

It was my 'color of the year' in 2015 when we remodeled our living room, and I agree with Pantone that it's very calming. I used it as an accent color with light blue walls, carpeting, and white cabinets.  Are any rooms in your home decorated with classic blue?

Who wears classic blue better than the Royals? Princess Kate seems to have a fondness for it more than others.

~  Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie ~

Do you have any classic blue garments in your wardrobe?  I checked mine and I don't have anything.  I might have to remedy that!

2020 begins my 9th year of blogging with 1,770 posts under my belt. Thank you for reading my blog and for your kind comments!