Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Animal Print Tablescape

My two cousins came to lunch today and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together.  Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of their mom's passing, so I hope today helped boost their spirits a little. 

I have been wanting to use my animal print tableware ever since I got it for my birthday last February, and today was the perfect occasion.  

The beginnings of the tablescape dates back to 1992 when my hubby went on a Work & Witness trip to Nairobi, Kenya with a group from our church.  He brought back several carved animals that we displayed for awhile then packed them away.  

When one of the staff members from church returned to Nairobi a few years later, he brought me back an animal print teapot, milk jug and four mugs.  Eventually I had a sugar bowl made to go with the set, but I still didn't have enough dishware for a tablescape until last February when I was browsing Hobby Lobby and spotted some leopard print dishes.  They came home with me immediately.  As the saying goes, one thing leads to ten... water goblets, flatware, tablecloth, napkins, table runner, centerpiece, but it finally all came together for today's lunch.    

I replanted a fall mum in the vase [that matches the water goblets from Overstock.com] and found some silk animal print leaves at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago to enhance the plant and make it in keeping with the theme.  I positioned three of my hubby's African animals around the vase, along with some animal print pumpkins also from Hobby Lobby.  I love putting a theme together!  It's fun and gets creativity flowing.

I bought cardboard containers at Hobby Lobby to make individual charcuteries, that also doubled as placecards.  The animal print ribbon also came from Hobby Lobby which I tied into bows and hot-glued them to the container.

Menu:  Beverages - Sparkling Caramel Apple Juice by R.W. Knudsen, Limited Edition for this time of the year from Christmas Tree Shop, and Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea.  We began with Pumpkin Soup [sorry no picture].  The main course was Marinated Pork Tenderloin Kabobs on Rice Pilaf, Green Beans and Apple/Cranberry Chutney.

Dessert was Animal Print Cake with Caramel frosting.  It tasted great, but I still need to practice on those leopard spots!  They didn't come out like the instruction picture.  It's a putsy cake to make, so I'm not too eager to practice again real soon.

I couldn't resist getting an animal print top to match my theme!  I ordered it online from Serengeti Fashions.

My sweet cousins, Tammy [standing] and Cindy [sitting].

So that's the recap of today's lunch.  Hope you enjoyed being my guest vicariously.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Dedication and Grand Opening

Yesterday was a great day in the life of our church.  It was the dedication and grand opening of our new church building.  The ribbon cutting ceremony began outside at 9:30 a.m.  Mother nature was kind and kept the rain away until later in the afternoon.

The local public service television station, WBRW, was there to film it all.

The Worship Team opened with a song.

Pastor Steve thanked the many people who made the day possible.

A complete rainbow hovered above the church for the occasion.  It wasn't just a half-circle arc, but a full-circle, and was white instead of multi-colored.  Rainbows usually appear during or after a rain storm, but it hadn't rained a drop.  We took it as a beautiful manifestation from God that He was pleased with His 'lighthouse' in the community.

Current District Superintendent, Dr. Mike Kitsko, prayed a prayer of thanksgiving.

Former District Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Anthony, was the first one to cut the ribbon.  He was District Superintendent when our church was organized and the property was purchased.

Pastor Steve and Sharon taking their turn cutting the ribbon.

To God Be the Glory!

Afterwards we all went inside to await the start of the 10:30 worship service.   The sanctuary was as full as our hearts!  The bulletin cover appropriately reflected the stages of the building program.

After church we went to Red Lobster with Steve, Sharon, Brooke, Sharon's parents, and our grandson, Brandon, to celebrate Steve's 52nd birthday which is this Wednesday, Oct. 27th.  I think the completion of the church is his best gift ever.

When we got home I began preparations for this Tuesday's lunch with my cousins.  I baked a leopard print cake.  It's my first attempt at making one and I can hardly wait to cut into it to see if it turned out as good as the picture below.  

Friday, October 22, 2021

64 Days 'til Christmas

I'm definitely not trying to rush the season, but Christmas displays and decorations are already in the stores.  I was in Hobby Lobby last week and saw so many lovely Christmas things, then I received my Nov./Dec. Tea Time magazine with its beautiful Christmas cover and realized Christmas is right around the corner! 

My children gave me the teapot, sugar & creamer and teacups that are pictured on Tea Time's cover last year for Christmas.  I can hardly wait to use them this year.  The pattern is Plaid Poinsettia by Grace's Teawares.  I don't have the luncheon plates, so may see if they're available at Replacements Ltd. Delays in shipping time will probably cause a lot of frustration for Christmas shoppers ordering online this year.

*  *  *

As you've noticed, I've been absent from my blog for a few days.  I was scheduled to have a group of high school girlfriends [group of 7] over for lunch this past Wednesday [Oct. 20th]. Company is a huge motivation for giving my house a thorough cleaning, so I was busy washing floors, rugs, walls, windows, curtains, and even a bit of touch up painting [thanks to my hubby], things they probably wouldn't even have noticed, but I knew they needed to be done. When the chores were done I went grocery shopping for the lunch.  Unfortunately, I came home from work last Saturday to e-mails informing me four of them couldn't come. I was happy to have a squeaky clean house, but disappointed with the cancellations after food had been purchased.  I didn't think those remaining would want to come without the rest of the group, so I cancelled it.

Things usually have a way of working out for good in life.   I remembered my cousins and I had been talking about getting together, but just never nailed down a date, so I contacted them to see if they were available this Tuesday, Oct. 26th, and they were so happy for the invite.  The 27th is the one year anniversary of their mother's passing and they were feeling very sad and downhearted.  They said getting together would be the perfect pick-me-up.  Maybe the lunch was meant for them instead all along.

On another subject...  I don't have paid advertising on my blog, so when I mention stores and items for sale there's no benefit for me other than the joy of sharing with like-minded friends. I like Talbots and they're the only ladies' store I know of that consistently sells tea-themed clothing. They have a 30% off Family & Friends sale going on right now through the 24th.  I placed an order yesterday and this is what I got:

Ryan Buckle Loafers in burgundy suede with embroidered teapot and teacup

Light blue Tea Time Crewneck Tee

Tiny Teacups Trouser Socks

If any of these items strike your fancy, go to their website and place an order [or drive to a nearby store] while the sale is still on.  They also have a cute teacup print blouse and a scarf that I'm eyeing, but didn't include them in this order.  With the holidays coming up I'm sure there'll be more sales.

Lastly, we had the 'soft opening' of our new church building on September 12th, but our grand opening and dedication is this Sunday, the 24th.  We are so happy to finally have our permanent dwelling place and are ready to minister to the community.  

The name of our church is Orchard Ridge because we are located in an area with lots of orchards.  Apple Trees are part of our logo, and scripture tells us that as Christians we are to bear good fruit.

It's fitting that today two Gala Apple Trees were planted on the mound in front of our building as a living logo.

Lots of activities are planned for our Harvest Festival on the church property tomorrow - Chili Cookoff [13 participants], Smore's & Bonfire, Horse Rides, Horse-drawn Hayride, Petting Zoo, Bounce House, and Kid's Pumpkin Creating Station.  There'll be something for everyone.  If you live locally and don't have a church home you're welcome to attend.  The address is 64600 Mound Rd., Washington, MI from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Dedication activities will begin on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. with morning worship service starting at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

25 Years of Service

Monday evening my hubby and I attended a Warren Woods School District Board Meeting where retirees were honored.  My hubby retired from the School Board in December 2020 after 25 years of service, but with COVID and virtual meetings retirees weren't honored until now.

The Board Meeting opened with everyone standing to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.  I can't remember when I last said the pledge and it felt so good!

Jerry receiving his plaque from the Board President, Jere Green

Jerry thanking the Board and attendees for the privilege he had to serve.

Stacey Denewith-Fici, Superintendent, Jerry, & Jere Green, Board President

~ Jerry and Stacey ~

 Jerry with School Board Members taken in 2019.

On August 25th I mentioned a coffee or teacup ring that appeared on my Facebook feed by Jeulia Premium Artisan Jewelry.  It was on sale for $119, but I was leery of ordering it because the company was based in Hong Kong.

Later they posted a teacup pendant that was on sale for $24 [originally $59], so I ordered it as a 'trial run' to see if it would arrive promptly and possess good quality.  It arrived in a timely manner, was packaged nicely and was very pretty.  So I got brave and ordered the ring.  It too arrived quickly, and I'm very pleased with it.  The picture below doesn't do it justice, but if you like tea-themed jewelry, I highly recommend this company.  The sterling silver ring is very dainty and not at all gaudy.

In closing I thought I'd share some photos of granddaughter Izzy's recent trip to Los Angeles, California with her parents and cousin, Alivia.  I confiscated the pics from Instagram.  ;-)

Alivia, Izzy, and Samantha

While they were there Izzy visited two universities - UCLA and Loyola Marymount.  I'm praying she didn't like either one well enough to consider getting her education there.  They're so far from home!
 ~ UCLA ~

 ~ Loyola Marymount ~

They got some beach time in - Izzy with her mom.

~ Izzy and Alivia ~

Jeremy, Sam, Izzy and Alivia

Lunch Time!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Time With the Grands

Last Tuesday [Oct. 5th] we headed to Chelsea, MI to stay with two of our grandchildren [Landon and Ellie] while our son, Jeremy, and wife, Samantha, took granddaughter Isabella [Izzy] on a trip to Los Angeles, California.  She could pick any place in the U.S. that she [plus one other] wanted to visit for her 16th Birthday, and she picked Los Angeles.  She chose her cousin to go with her. 

We celebrated Jeremy and Izzy's b-day when we first arrived on Tuesday.  Their actual b-day was Sept. 29th.  

Jeremy's favorite cake for his b-day has always been Boston Cream Pie.  Instead of using pie pans, I used two cake pans and made it into a cake with the same cream filling between the layers.  

Then we were off to Landon's football game.  He's #10 - the Quarterback.  He's wearing pink stirrups for breast cancer awareness month since his best friend lost his mother to breast cancer.

Samantha texted me the photo below of Izzy and Alivia at the airport before their flight departed for California.  The girls were so excited.

On Wednesday, while the kids were in school, Jerry and I went to a couple of cider mills. 

Dexter Cider Mill was first on my list since it's the oldest one in the state of Michigan.

We bought cider, apple butter, maple cookies and an apple cookbook.

The old Ford truck below caught our eye...

With a 1931 license plate.

Then it was over to Alber Orchard & Cider Mill in Manchester, MI before heading back to Chelsea.

Ellie had a track meet [elementary school level] while we were there.

We dropped the kids off at their maternal grandparent's house on Friday night so they could go to the airport with them to pick up their parents, Izzy and Alivia today.

We got to church early this morning since Jerry is a greeter, and I went into the sanctuary where the Praise Team was practicing.  Imagine my surprise when I saw granddaughter, Brooke, practicing with them.  They were singing, "Nothing is Better Than You", referring to Jesus, of course, and how true that is.  Brooke is home from college on fall break.  

Surprise #2 was when granddaughter, Brianna, came in and sat down beside me!  She's home from Nashville for a few days too.  It was great seeing both of them again, and I couldn't resist getting a picture of them together.

We went out to dinner with them and Steve and Sharon after church.  It was a great day.  

To bring this post around to tea, I finished the 50-sachet bag of Harney's Citron Green tea while I was in Chelsea [time to order more], and opened the bag of Organic Green with Citrus & Ginkgo, which I am now enjoying.  What's in your cup?