Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Long Overdue Tea Outing

My friend, Linda, contacted me last week to ask if I'd be interested in joining a group of friends for tea today at St. Sabbas Russian Orthodox Monastery Tea House.  Initially I declined because of another commitment, but when it was postponed, I called her and asked if the invitation was still available.  Thankfully it was.  This was the first tea outing I've had in months and it was so nice to sip tea and chat with a lovely group of ladies.  I'm also very happy be be able to blog about a tea event again!

This was my third visit to the monastery tea house, and ironically it's been in five year increments - 2010, 2015, and 2020.  I've blogged about each visit.

St. Sabbas Monastery was founded in 1999 and is situated on six acres of residential property in the City of Harper Woods.  The Russian-style buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains and mosaic shrines.  

The Royal Eagle restaurant and tea house was once a motorcycle repair shop before it was acquired by the monastery and converted into an eatery.  Now they are the main financial support for the monastery.  To read more about the monastery visit their websites at www.stsabbas.org and www.theroyaleagle.net.  You can take a great virtual tour of the grounds at their website.

When I woke up this morning it was pouring down rain, but by the time I got to the monastery for our 12:00 o'clock reservations the sun had come out.

As you can tell from the pictures, it's a very tranquil setting.  They have one male peacock and two peahens that strut about the grounds.

They just recently reopened from the Covid-19 quarantine, so we all wore our facemasks when we entered, but took them off when we were seated.  There was only one other group of four ladies in the tea house while we were there, so we practically had the place to ourselves.  They have a nice patio for outdoor dining but it wasn't utilized today.

They have several loose-leaf tea options printed on a postcard size menu.  

Everyone got their own teapot of hot water with an infuser filled with their tea selection.  I ordered Ginger Peach black tea, which was very good.  We drank our tea from a Russian tea glass in a Podstakannik [tea glass holder]. 

Our Russian high tea began with a bowl of homemade Ukrainian Borscht.

Then our server, Bianca, brought  out the savories on a tall three-tiered server.

On the top tier were English-style Cucumber Star tea sandwiches.  Next was Chicken Salad and Tomato on a White Bread triangle.  The third tier held a French Baguette topped with Mozzarella Balls and fresh Tomatoes drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar.  On the bottom tier was a Baguette with a slice of Black Forest Ham.

Next was Chicken Paprikash with organic Baby Greens tossed with house made Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Our dessert was Russian Napoleons with Whipped Cream.  At their website you can watch a YouTube video of their pastry chef making the Napoleons for Channel 4 new anchor, Bernie Smilovitz.  All this food for only a donation of $22 per person [plus gratuity].

Our group of ladies. Left side of table: a daughter and mother from Toledo, Ohio, Rita and Phyllis, and Louise.   Right side of table: Barb, Joanie, Linda and Me.

The decor throughout the restaurant/tea house is Russian, so there were LOTS of  samovars.

~ More group pictures ~

~ Servers Bianca and Amy ~

I highly recommend the Royal Eagle.  Reservations are required and high tea is served on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m.  There is a dress code, so be sure to check their website before going.

Thanks for inviting me to be part of a lovely afternoon, Linda!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day 2020

Today was a wonderful Father's Day.  Since we are temporarily worshipping on Saturdays until our new sanctuary is completed, we had the day free to celebrate with our family.

We went to our daughter-in-law's sister's house shortly after 3:00 o'clock.   With a huge back yard, the kids were able to swim, the guys play cornhole, and the women visit.  Rain was in the forecast, but it held off and the cloud cover actually made the mid-80 degree temperature very comfortable.  
In the photo below, Jerry is with our two boys, Jeremy [L] and Steve [R].  Our daughter is vacationing at a cottage on Lake Huron, and we'll meet up with her and her husband later this week.

~ Jerry and daughter-in-law, Sharon ~

Granddaughters Isabella and Brooke. 

Jeremy with his three children - Izzy, Landon and Ellie.  Unfortunately no picture of daughter-in-law, Samantha.  ;-(

It was a wonderful leisure afternoon with family and extended family.

I couldn't help thinking about my own father, on Father's Day.  He's been gone since 2011, but I still miss him.  I'm so thankful the Lord granted him 93 years on this earth for us to enjoy.  

Since I've been scanning and editing old photos during this Covid downtime [currently my count is at 966], I've had lots of pictures of my dad to reflect on.   I was blessed with a wonderful earthly father who made it easy for me to put my faith and trust in a loving Heavenly Father.  He had such a gentle, tender-hearted spirit, and was loved by all who knew him.  He was a quiet man, but my son, Jeremy, adequately summed up his life in a eulogy at his funeral by sharing a quote from St. Francis of Assisi:  "Preach the Gospel at all times.  When necessary, use words."

Below are a few pictures of my dad and me through the years that I treasure.  I'm so glad my mother was a picture-taker!

So thankful I have the assurance of seeing him again someday in Heaven.  After worshipping Jesus my Savior and Lord first and foremost, my dad will be the next one I want to see.  I owe my Christian heritage to my parents.  It's the greatest legacy they gave me.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Mission Accomplished!

Did you enjoy a nice Flag Day yesterday?  Our flag was proudly flying to commemorate the adoption of  'Old Glory' on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

It was a gorgeous day in southeastern Michigan, so I opened the garage door and set up shop in my hubby's domain, assembling 20 Tea for Two To-Go baskets, while enjoying the wonderful fresh air, and sweet music from birds living in a nearby tree.  

Baskets and packages of white shred all ready for the task.

As the baskets were assembled I put them in my hubby's Traverse so they'd be ready to transport to The Whitney today.

We delivered them around noon, and put them in Mr. Whitney's bedroom on the second floor.

The baskets, containing two teacups and two of our signature teas, will accompany a 16-inch round tray of tea food.  The promotion will probably go up on the website and/or Facebook page next week.  Part of me hopes it will be a huge success, and the other part of me is not too eager to make another round of baskets.  ;-)   Assembly looks like it would be simple - and it's not difficult - but it takes between 15-20 minutes to assemble from start to finish.  If someone wasn't picky maybe it could be done a little faster.

With that project off my plate, I'll resume my photo scanning and editing.  I picked up my second batch of prints made from negatives, so I've got plenty of photos to keep me busy.

Be safe and stay well!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Celebrating 54 Years of Marriage

It's hard to believe four years have swiftly passed since Jerry and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary.  I told my daughter today, "We're old people who don't realize it!" ;-)

~ June 11, 2016 50th Anniversary ~

~ 2017 51st Anniversary ~
We celebrated with Steve, Sharon and Brianna at Ferlito's

~ 2018 52nd Anniversary~
Dinner at P.F. Chang's

~ 2019 53rd Anniversary ~
Dinner at Andiamo's

Even though restaurants have reopened from the Covid-19 quarantine, we're not going out to dinner for our 54th anniversary.  We'll celebrate at home tonight by ourselves.

With the reopening of stores, I took 69 old negatives to Express Photo Lab in Livonia last week and my prints were ready for pick-up today.  It's the best $29.38 I ever spent!   I have no idea what happened to the original pictures, but I sure am glad my mom saved the negatives.  Now I can complete one Shutterfly album.  I gave the lab more negatives today to be copied.  Below is a 1957 Christmas photo of me.  In the background is our first television set, a Motorola.  The lady at the photo lab said they had a lot of fun looking at the photos.  Do you remember pop-it beads?  That's what I was wearing. 

The page below will be the inside page [or first page] for all my Shutterfly photo albums.

When we got home from the photo lab, FedEx had finally delivered the teacups to go in The Whitney's Tea for Two To-Go baskets, so I'll be busy assembling baskets for the next day or two.

My son, Steve, posted pictures on Facebook today of the cement floor being poured for our new sanctuary.  The walls will go up next.  It's very exciting!

Be safe and stay well.  The 'new normal' is beginning to emerge.  I saw my first garage sale sign this year while Jerry and I were out today, and I've started receiving Estate Sale notifications for in-person viewing rather than online auctions.  A lot more cars out on the roads now too.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Life Goes on During Covid-19

Michigan's governor is gradually opening up our state and announced today that beauty parlors and barber shops [and other businesses] can reopen on June 15th.  Yahoo!!  The last time my hair was colored was January 29th, and my last haircut was February 28th. To say I'm ready is an understatement!

I went to The Whitney today to get some supplies for the gift baskets I'll be assembling for the Tea for Two To-Go promotion when it's ready for implementation.  I have an update for local readers. My boss informed me that we won't begin serving Afternoon Tea until mid-September.  It's been very hard for management to make definite plans when news changes every day. My best advice is to keep checking The Whitney website for the most current information.

In the meantime, the wheels have begun to turn for the Tea for Two To-Go promotion.  I've been sitting at my desk folding napkins for the gift baskets [with a tutorial before me], and took a brief break to type this post.

My family's having fun in the sun and posted these pictures on Facebook today.  They're all happy the quarantine is being relaxed.  Steve, Sharon, Brooke and a girlfriend are vacationing in New Hampshire.  Sharon will celebrate her 50th birthday there this Sunday.  They love the movie "What About Bob", so it was a fun place for them to visit. 

~ Brooke and Riley ~

Flume Gorge in New Hampshire.  The stream and covered bridge look so peaceful.  Much different from the big city protest coverage that we see on our televisions.

Daughter-in-law, Samantha, posted this photo of her and Landon at Silver Lake in Michigan today.

Another summer activity for the grands.

Below is the newest picture on the progress of our church building.  The plumbing is completed and the next step will be pouring the floor.

New sign my hubby and another man from church placed on the property of our temporary location.  We will begin worshipping there next week - June 13th.  Attending church on Saturdays will be different, but it's only short term.

Be safe and stay well!