Friday, November 27, 2020

Black Friday 2020

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  We went to our son Steve's house.  I prepared turkey and trimmings and transported it.  Between daughter-in-law, Sharon, and me we had more than enough food for a Thanksgiving feast.

It was a much smaller crowd this year due to COVID concerns - only 8 of us, Steve, Sharon, granddaughters Brooke and Brianna, Sharon's parents and Jerry and me.

The above picture was taken later in the afternoon while we were enjoying dessert.  Bri and Brooke [at the far end of the table] were looking at the four chronological Shutterfly photo albums I made of my life from birth thru high school.  I didn't take the albums to the gathering, but Sharon and the girls wanted to see them so Steve, Jerry and the 'grands' drove to our house to get them.

Not everything about the COVID pandemic was bad.  Had it not been for the quarantine I never would have had the time to sort, organize, and scan all the photos for the albums. 

Later in the evening we watched the 1944 movie, Going My Way, starring Bing Crosby.  The granddaughters love old movies.

Today is a quiet day at home.  No black Friday shopping and battling crowds - although there may not be as many shoppers out this year with COVID.

I have received so many catalogues this year from companies I've never heard of.  One of them is Acorn, and I made three purchases from them which arrived on Wednesday.  Two things I can never pass up is tea-themed clothing and cookbooks.

A blue sweat shirt to keep me warm at home this winter.

A short sleeve T-shirt. Since it's loose fitting I can wear a long-sleeve white turtleneck underneath.

I quickly leafed through the cookbook, but am looking forward to a closer look over a cup of tea.  

I noticed a few scone recipes in the book and Irish soda bread.

May you have joy and happiness this holiday weekend that's set aside for counting our blessings.

As the old hymn goes, "...count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!"

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my house to yours, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.  It's different this year due to COVID-19, but there's still much to be thankful for.

I've been busy in my kitchen yesterday and this morning, so I decided to share pictures I've taken and posted on my blog from previous Thanksgivings.

~ 2013 through 2017 ~

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Present to Myself

My hubby has very keen hearing - me, not so much!  When I go back to our bedroom for the evening to watch a program, I have to keep the volume low so he's not disturbed.  Often times it ends up being similar to a silent movie without captioning.  I finally decided to remedy that by ordering a cordless headset.  It's wonderful and I should have gotten one much sooner.  I share this because if you or anyone in your household have the same issue this would make a great Christmas present.  They're $79.99 at Amazon.

And speaking of movies... Have you seen the new Hallmark movie, "A Timeless Christmas" that premiered on November 15th?  I have - three times!   There's a small TV in my office that's on when I'm working on Shutterfly photo albums or other projects.  The first advertisements sounded like they were saying Charles Whitney and the Whitney Mansion.  Of course that piqued my interest since I work at the David Whitney Mansion, and Charles Whitney was the brother of David Whitney.  He was also wealthy.

Alas, when I researched the movie I discovered the last name was Whitley not Whitney and it was a fictitious story - albeit a very good one.  One of the filming locations was the historic Hycroft Manor in Vancouver, Canada.  Large center staircases must have been the thing in mansions in the late 1800's / early 1900's because we have a beautiful one at The David Whitney Mansion in Detroit.  It's currently decorated for Christmas whenever we're able to reopen.

I've also enjoyed watching the first three episodes of The Crown on Netflix.  Will watch episode four tonight.

What have you been watching for entertainment?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Nostalgic Saturday

Normally I'd be working today, but since all dine-in restaurants have been shut-down in Michigan due to the resurgence of COVID-19, I've had the day to work on my latest Shutterfly album - Tea with Nana.

Presently my granddaughter, Tiffany, is 29 years old and the mother of two precious little girls. She was my second-born grandchild, but my first granddaughter.  When I became smitten with tea in 1998, my enthusiastic teapot spilled out onto everyone in my family!  It's been so much fun scanning old photos of tea times with Tiff for her photo book.  [She doesn't have time to follow my blog so I feel safe sharing my project here.]  I'm far from done sorting photos and scanning them, but here's a preview of what I've done so far.  The pictures make me a little sad as I realize how quickly the years have passed, but also very grateful that I've had the opportunity to make these wonderful memories with Tiffany.

In July 1999, for Tiffany's 8th Birthday, I took her [along with her girlfriend, my daughter and a friend of mine] to a tearoom to celebrate.  Victorian Rose tearoom is the first one I visited after being introduced to the pleasures of tea.  It's still there, but under different ownership now.

In December of that year I took her to a Nutcracker Tea at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.  

In 2011 I took her to a different tearoom [owned by a wonderful friend of mine] to celebrate her 11th birthday.

In 2003 I coordinated an honorary tea called Tea Across America, on the second anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Multiple teas took place across the United States, the inspiration of the Shelley Marshall Foundation, to honor all those who perished on 9/11/2001.  

It occurred to me that I've never shared that tea on my blog before. Shelley Marshall was a wife and mother of two young children who worked at the Pentagon. She loved tea and tea parties.  Sadly, she perished in the terrorist attack.  Her husband, Donn, was devastated.  His grief counselor encouraged him to "give his sorrow meaning."  So within days he established the Shelley Marshall Foundation to fund activities that Shelley enjoyed, which included tea parties at nursing homes.  

Donn, along with his mother-in-law, hosted quarterly tea parties at five local nursing homes. The parties were so successful they inspired Donn to attempt something much bigger - Tea Across America.  When I read Donn's story in two national magazines, I volunteered to coordinate Michigan's tea.  Our tea was held at Shelby Nursing Center. Ladies from my church, friends, and family helped me serve.  Our local newspaper came and captured a picture of Tiffany serving tea to one of the residents to accompany the article they printed.

Tiffany also sang "God Bless the U.S.A." in the program.

Two of my other granddaughters, Marissa and Brianna, sang "I'm a little teapot" [with motions].

Tiffany visiting with one of the residents. 

Also in 2003 I had a tea-themed picture taken by Playful Portraits with my granddaughters.  I treasure it and will put it on the cover of Tiffany's photo album.

In July 2005 I had a tea party at my house for Tiffany's 14th birthday.

The girls with their gift bags...

Which included, among other things, red wax lips and diamond ring suckers.

In March 2005 we [three granddaughters, daughter, daughter-in-law and myself] went on a girls trip to Chicago to visit American Girl Place.  Approaching 14, Tiffany had outgrown playing with dolls, but she was an avid reader and read all the books.  Her favorite was Kit.  

When we returned home I enjoyed researching Pleasant Rowland, founder of Pleasant Company and American Girl dolls, and I presented a couple of programs about her and the dolls.  It's a fun and fascinating story.

Waiting our turn to go in the Cafe.

In 2009 [when Tiffany was 18] I had a Valentine's Tea at my house for three of my granddaughters [Isabella was too little and Ellie wasn't born yet].

So that's a sampling of her photo book, which is still a work in progress.  So thankful for pictures that allow us to 'relive' past experiences.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Craft-Tea at The Whitney

Last Saturday The Whitney hosted one of three Craft-Teas scheduled this month - something new they're trying.  Saturday's tea was Christmas card making.  The restaurant is all decorated for Christmas and definitely provides an atmosphere for inspiration and creativity.  11 ladies attended.  They were served three courses of their Afternoon Tea, and then had a break to make their Christmas card.  When it was finished the fourth course - desserts - was served.

~ Gift bags for attendees ~

Barb Kapla [left] a Stampin' Up instructor and her helper.

~ Giving instructions to the ladies. ~

Two of the three tables of participants.

The finished card cover.  

The attendees had a fun time.  The next sold-out [capped at 20] Craft-Tea was scheduled for this Saturday - decorating a Bouche d' Noel with our talented pastry chef, Eric, but sadly, it will have to be rescheduled because Governor Whitmer ordered dine-in restaurants in our state to be shut down effective yesterday [Nov. 18] thru Dec. 8th due to the resurgence of COVID-19.

The Princess Tea scheduled for December 5th is proceeding but the date is tentative due to the restaurant's shut-down - watch the Whitney website.  Our annual Christmas tea is scheduled for December 18th and 19th and my boss told me yesterday we will be doing Christmas teas "To-Go" this year, so watch the website for that as well.

In the meantime while I'm at home, I've been engaging in some creativity of my own - two Shutterfly photo albums as Christmas presents.  I submitted one of my daughter's 2019 Valentine's Day Wedding last night and am working on a "Teatime with Nana" album for my granddaughter, Tiffany.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Final Day of Celebrating

Our grandson, Landon, was born on Jerry's birthday so we always celebrate with him.   Below is his recent football picture, and he had a very good season.  He's no longer a little boy!

Thursday [the day of his actual b-day] was a mother/son day when daughter-in-law, Samantha, took him shopping and to lunch.

We drove to their house in Chelsea on Friday afternoon.  Landon's favorite NFL football team is the Minnesota Vikings [he's a fan of quarterback, Kirk Cousins, former MSU quarterback], so I ordered a Vikings cake in his favorite flavor - chocolate with vanilla icing.

~ The two birthday boys! ~

Jerry and me with three of our grands.  Izzy [far right] had just come home from basketball practice.  All three kids are playing basketball this season.  They are definitely an athletic family.

Below is a recent picture of Ellie who excels in gymnastics.   Sure looks painful to me, but she does splits with ease.

Jeremy was on his way home from a business trip in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, so he didn't get home until after we left.  Below is the picture he posted on Facebook for Jerry's b-day.  It was taken in Destin, Florida in 1986 when he was seven years old.  My parent's retired to Destin in 1979, and we commented how barren the beach was then compared to now since it's become a huge tourist destination.  The picture represents many happy memories!

~ Papa and Nana ~

Jerry liked all his b-day gifts, but it was hard to top Jeremy and Sam's. Knowing how much he enjoys the Collingsworth family, they bought us tickets to their Christmas concert in early December.  Now we just have to pray it won't be cancelled due to the spike in COVID.

I put a picture of Essenhaus Inn [in Shipshewana, Indiana] in his birthday card from me telling him I had reserved one night's stay in December when we go to the concert.

After all the celebrating was done Jerry said it was the best birthday he's ever had.  Now another year begins...