Monday, March 29, 2021

Nostalgia

I grew up in Wyandotte, MI [a suburb south of Detroit].  It was [and still is] a wonderful city.  In 2016 a Facebook group was established called All Things Wyandotte.  I didn't join the group until about a year ago.  I was a lurker for a long time, just enjoying all the photos and comments posted by current and past residents.  But I recently posted a picture of my father-in-law who was a policeman in the city with a beautiful tenor voice.  He used to go to all the elementary schools and put on safety assemblies, and he'd sing during them which earned him the title, "The Singing Policeman."  I vividly remember him coming to my school, but never in my wildest imagination ever thought he'd become my father-in-law some day! 

Below is the safety pamphlet he distributed during the assemblies.  The little girl directly in front of him is my sister-in-law, and my hubby and brother-in-law are in the photo too, but I didn't know them at that time.


Today Leslie T. Higdon posted a picture of her mother taken at Woodruff Elementary, one of the elementary schools in Wyandotte.  All the schools in Wyandotte are named after American Presidents.  The picture was taken in 1937 during kindergarten class, and Leslie's mom was the little girl at the ironing board.

I especially enjoyed seeing the two little girls at the table sipping a cup of pretend tea.  I asked Leslie for permission to post the picture, which she graciously granted.


She said her mother was English and loved tea.  She had hundreds of teapots, and when she passed away three years ago, they gave away almost 100 teapots at her memorial service. What a wonderful way to honor her memory.

I commented that kindergarten back then [and even when my daughter went in 1972] was a time for social development.  In today's culture children learn social skills in preschool so kindergarten has become very academic.  It's kind of sad that children have to grow up so quickly.

On another nostalgic note...  My daughter-in-law texted a picture this afternoon of the 'For Sale' sign that went up in front of their house today.  They've been working on getting the house ready to list for a while now, but the sign made it official.  Now she's feeling very emotional.


They moved into the house in 2013 and lots of happy memories have been made there.  There are 12 showings scheduled for this Thursday.  The good news is another family can make happy memories there, and Jeremy and Sam and the kids will have another house to make happy memories in.   Life is always moving and changing.


I'm off to make myself a cup of tea while I ponder all the things that have changed in my lifetime.  The May/June issue of Tea Time magazine arrived in today's mail, and I always look forward to reading it.  I'm with Rev. Sydney Smith who was quoted as saying:  "Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea!  How did it exist?  I am glad I was not born before tea."

 

Sure wish I had a piece of this adorable cake to go with my cup of tea!  My great-granddaughter, Juliana, turns two on April 3rd.  This would go perfectly with the Raggedy Ann doll and book I gave her for Christmas.





Thursday, March 25, 2021

Tea and Scones and Shamrock Dishes

You may remember my recent blog post about attending the World Tea Virtual Summit on March 15-16.  Day 1 ended with a happy hour of three perfectly paired scones and tea from Erika's Tea Room in Clermont, Florida.  I didn't order the scones and tea before the summit, but I placed an order afterwards, and they arrived in yesterday's.


I liked the packaging, and enjoyed a happy hour this afternoon all by myself.  I only sampled one scone and tea today - Baileys Irish Cream.  


The tea was a green tea with Baileys Irish Cream flavoring.

  

I could easily adapt to a daily happy hour!  ;-)  The scones were dense as compared to soft and flaky, but I ate it all so it definitely wasn't bad.  Erika's mother, Leila, is the baker for the tearoom. The scones were at least three days old by the time they reached me, so that could account for the texture.  I'll try warming my next one in the microwave before eating it.  


I follow Susan Herin's blog, Between Naps on the Porch and for St. Patrick's Day she shared pictures of a tablescape submitted by one of her readers.  As soon as I saw the vintage clear glass shamrock dishes I knew I wanted six of them.  The tablescaper said they were fairly easy to find, and quite inexpensive [around $2 each].   

I like finding things to modify my St. Patrick's Day tablescape so it's not identical year after year, so the search began.  E-Bay and Etsy both had the dishes but shipping was so expensive ranging from $7.70 up to $10 for one dish, and the dish itself ranged from $4.25 all the way up to $17.25.  Seriously?!  I decided to visit some local antique and Salvation Army stores instead.  I found my first dish at Salvation Army for $2.24 [yesterday was 25% off for seniors] and one at an antique mall for $4.99.  Four more and the hunt will be done.


Below are two pictures from Susan's blog.  The dishes make a pretty table even prettier.  Their original purpose was for nuts or candy, but they're the perfect size for individual salads and the more shamrocks on a St. Patrick's Day table, the better!




Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung - it officially sprung last Saturday [March 20th], but I'm just now getting around to mentioning it on my blog. Mother Nature has been blessing southeastern Michigan with glorious weather - 68 degrees and sunny today.  Yesterday was so beautiful my hubby and I resumed our old half-mile walk routine and did the same today.  Time to think about getting back in shape again.

I discarded my Oxalis [shamrock] plant and wilted daffodils and made a trip to Lowe's garden center today to look for something to replace them.  It's still a bit early for an Easter Lily, but the Hydrangea plants were perfect, and one came home with me.


It definitely says Spring!


Yesterday was National Rosie the Riveter Day.  I'm grateful for all the WWII Rosies who paved the way for women in the work force today.


I mentioned in my previous post that I got my second COVID-19 shot last Thursday morning. All went well until about 6:30 that evening, then the shot knocked my socks off me with flu-like symptoms of chills, hot flashes, headache and nausea.  It was a l-o-n-g sleepless night. When morning finally arrived my hubby went to the pharmacy to get some Tylenol because instructions were not to take Motrin.  I slept all day and night on Friday, and by Saturday I was improved enough to go to work.  Fortunately I never ran a fever.  I had no adverse reaction to my first shot, so I wasn't anticipating any reaction to the second one.

I'm feeling great now but there's a large, red welt-like circle at the site of the injection that has increased in size each day.  It's sore, itchy, and feverish.  If there's no improvement by morning my Dr. will take a look at it.  An allergic reaction to latex could be the culprit.  

On another subject, I discovered the Irishmen that I purchased at the estate sale last Thursday are called figurines after all, and they're Celtic Santas even though they don't look Christmassy.  A large variety of them exist and I found an image for the cutest tea-themed one that I'm diligently searching for.  I'll let you know if I find one.
 

For the record, St. Patty's or St. Paddy's Day?
As the saying goes, "You're never too old to learn," and this year I discovered I've been using the wrong abbreviation for St. Patrick's Day for a very long time.  I've always said St. Patty's Day, while others said St. Paddy's Day.  Erroneously I thought it was a personal preference. Shame on me for not doing my homework, or clarifying it with my Irish mom or aunt while they were still alive.  

One of my blog readers noticed my error and e-mailed me with an explanation. Paddy is the shortened form of Patrick, which is the Anglicized version of the Gaelic name P√°draig. Because St. Patrick's Day is an Irish holiday, and Gaelic is the traditional Irish language, the right nickname is Paddy, not Patty.  [My questioning mind wonders why the nickname for guys named Patrick is Pat and not Pad.  Just sayin'! ;-)]

Even though saying [or writing] St. Patty's Day is a common error, I read it's a major pet peeve for many Irish people.  A website was even founded called PaddyNotPatty.com but I never knew about it until today. Patty is a shortened form of the female name Patricia, so saying St. Patty's Day is offensive to the male gender.  Yikes!  I'll never say or write it wrong again!

And to muddy the waters... the word Paddy has a contentious history and is sometimes used as a derogatory term for an Irish person.  Maybe it's safer to just avoid any short cuts altogether and stick with St. Patrick's Day!

☘☘☘

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Fun Estate Sale Finds

I get estate sale e-mail notifications almost daily.  They have to be within 10 miles of where I live before I'll even look at the pictures.  I haven't seen anything that really piqued my interest for quite awhile, and most estate sales were held online during the pandemic.

But yesterday when viewing items at a local estate sale less than 2 miles away, I spotted two Irishmen figurines/statues [not sure of accurate term] I immediately knew I'd like to have. The sale opened at 10:00 a.m., so I set my alarm clock for 7:00 a.m. in anticipation of arriving at the house by 8:30.  All went according to plans, but I was amazed that 14 shoppers had arrived a head of me and placed their names on the entrance list.  

We had an hour and a half wait, but I had my travel mug of tea and two slices of Irish Soda Bread for my hubby and me to enjoy while we waited.   It was a windy, drizzly, cool morning - more like fall than spring.


Below is the picture of the Irishmen I saw at the estate sale website.  I could tell it was taken in the basement, so I knew right where to go when we were admitted.  I don't know exactly what to call them.  They're really not figurines, statues or sculptures.  What would you call them?


We were in the first round of shoppers admitted to the house, and I went straight to the basement in hopes no one else was interested in them too.  They're just under a foot tall and were $15 each. I snatched them up immediately and went to the check-out. Mission accomplished and no one else appeared to be interested in them!

From the estate sale we drove to Detroit where I got my second COVID shot.  They were much busier today than the first time I went, but still very efficient.



15-minute waiting area after getting the shot.


My reward for getting poked in the arm twice!  Glad to cross this off my 'to do' list!


Here's my new [to me] Irishmen posing in their new home.  Aren't they cute?


When I missed out on E-bay's four Christopher Radko St. Patrick's spreaders recently, four Gantz 'Irish Dancing Feet' spreaders were listed.  I bid on them and amazingly no one else bid against me.  I was notified today I won the auction.  I think I'll stop shopping for St. Patrick's Day things now - at least for this year!  ;-)


There are collectors for everything.  I happened upon a blog a few days ago where the writer collects St. Paddy's Day spreaders.  I never saw so many different Irish-themed spreaders.  As for me, I'm going to be content with the eight I have and call it quits. 


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Paddy's Day

I hope you had an enjoyable holiday.  For many, the focus of St. Patrick's Day is on revelry and partying, but the Patron Saint of Ireland's life was anything but a party.

He was kidnapped at age 16 and taken to Ireland, an unfamiliar land. He tended sheep, and while there grew in his Christian faith.  When he escaped on a ship back to his homeland he heard God's inaudible voice telling him to return to the place where he was enslaved.  While living there he taught the Trinity to the inhabitants by using the three-leaf clover.  He ministered on the Emerald Isle for 29 years and built over 300 churches.  He was a hero of the Christian faith.

Joy's tablescape that I recently shared, showed a vase filled with twigs with ornaments hanging from them.  I thought that was such a cute idea that I went out in my backyard and gathered some twigs to do likewise.  I had several wooden St. Patrick's Day ornaments from years back when I used to decorate a miniature Christmas tree for all the holidays.  The twigs could only hold three or four ornaments, but I was glad to put them into use again.  My local florist finally got some daffodils so I added them to the vase as well.


Below is the St. Patrick's outfit I wore to work last Saturday.  The restaurant is currently only open Thurs. thru Sunday, and since I only work on Saturdays, I had to wear it last week in anticipation of the upcoming holiday.  It was fun and festive and the guests enjoyed it.  I only get one time of the year to celebrate my ancestry/heritage, so I enjoy it.

I almost missed out on making my Irish Soda Bread this year.  I had to go to several stores before I finally found currants.  I could have substituted raisins, but I wanted to be true to the recipe.  It's called Grandma Clark's Soda Bread and is from the Silver Palate Cookbook.  It's more cake-like than bread, but it's a favorite that I've made for many years.


This is the first time I've ever bought Irish butter.  It's a deeper yellow than ours, and has a very good flavor.  It's pricier too!  ;-)  I also bought mint flavored apple jelly to spread on the bread, which was good, but truthfully I was going for the green color as much as the taste.  I don't imbibe alcohol, so there was no green beer, just tea.  I'll be sober when I wake up in the morning.  ;-)

Here's to St. Paddy's Day 2021!



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

World Tea Virtual Summit

I've spent the last two afternoons in front of my desktop attending a virtual tea summit provided by World Tea/Questex.

Sessions started at 2:00 pm. and ended a little after 5:00 p.m.  There were six informative and inspiring speakers each day.  The summit opened with an update on the tea industry in North America.


In a survey conducted by the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada, 55% of the participants said they drink tea to feel good.  They like the comfort and relaxation it provides.   Many businesses suffered greatly during the COVID pandemic in 2020, but it was a very good year for the tea industry with unprecedented growth.


Day 1 ended with a happy hour of 'perfectly paired scones and tea' by Erika's Tearoom in Clermont, Florida.   Summit attendees could order the teas and scones [three of each] in advance, and enjoy them during Erika and her mother, Leila's, presentation.  

The three scones and teas were Bailey's Irish Cream Scones with Irish Cream Green Tea, Apple Bourbon Scones with Apple Bourbon Black Tea and Strawberry Champagne Scones with Strawberry Champagne White Tea. 

The mother/daughter duo have been in business since 2014 and have a YouTube show every Thursday.  I watched some of the episodes last night.

Today's speakers were just as informative as yesterday's.  


Lisa McDonald, owner of Tea Haus in Ann Arbor, MI ended the summit.  I enjoyed her since I've been to her tearoom/tea shop a few times.  Her topic was cooking with tea and she demonstrated two foods and one cocktail.


Did any of you attend/watch the summit?

A special thanks to World Tea/Questex for providing this free summit to educate people in the wonderful world of tea!


Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and with that, our life of normalcy changed to a whole new world of lockdowns, masks, social distancing, closure of schools and businesses, shortages of all kinds and so much more.  We will never take hugs and being with loved ones for granted again.

A year later, COVID vaccine is helping things to gradually return to some degree of normalcy. I saw this current impression of Mona Lisa on Facebook today.  A sense of humor helps get us through difficult times, even though Leonardo da Vinci probably rolled over in his grave over such sacrilege!  The photo illustrates how much the vaccine is on everyone's mind these days. I get my second shot next Thursday.

On Tuesday I visited my favorite antique store that I hadn't been to in over a year.


Only some tea canisters/caddies caught my eye.  Upon inspection, both had noticeable chips so I left without a purchase.  Just as well, I'm not sure where I could have displayed them.


I decided to pay Cracker Barrel a visit to see if they had any St. Patrick's day items in their gift shop area.  They didn't, but I found some lovely tea-themed things.  I really liked this table/desk top teapot quartz clock.  I thought about it for my office, but resisted [so far!]. Speaking of clocks, don't forget to 'spring forward' this weekend.  Set your clocks forward one hour Saturday night before you go to bed.


A cute tea towel caught my eye and came home with me.


And the teacup lamp [below] was love at first sight.  It definitely came home with me.  With a price tag of $69.99, it was a bargain.


Here it is in its new home [my house]!


I don't have to wear a uniform at work like the servers do, so when a holiday is approaching I try to wear something in keeping with it [appropriate and conservative, of course].  I found a new St. Patrick's Day sweater to wear to work this Saturday.


Green tea has been my tea of choice for over a year now since it prohibits the formation of kidney stones.  One bout with kidney stones is enough for me!  I just received a new supply of two green teas from Harney & Sons - Citron Green and Organic Green with Citrus and Ginkgo.


Cheers!


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

One of my faithful blog followers going back to 2012 when I first started blogging is Joy, a resident of Georgia.  I had the privilege of meeting her in person in 2018 when I coordinated the Southern Tea Time Getaway tour.  She, along with blogging friend, Angela McRae, and Angela Renals, owner of Destination Tea [a comprehensive online tearoom directory] met us at Tea Leaves and Thyme tearoom in Woodstock, Georgia. We shared a wonderful Afternoon Tea together.

[Front:  Joy and Me  Back:  Angela Renals & Angela McRae]

Joy e-mailed me photos of her St. Patrick's Day tablescape, which I'm sharing with you today. I love her idea of placing tree twigs in a bud vase and hanging shamrocks from them.  I think I may have to borrow that idea, Joy.  So cute!


Joy said her Belleek teacup and saucer were a Marketplace find, the Shelley mug was a gift, the ruffled bowl belonged to her grandmother, one of the Cottage Teapots belonged to her mother, and the Green Depression Glass pieces were thrift store finds.


Thank you for sharing your St. Patrick's Day tablescape with us, Joy!  Isn't it fun setting a holiday themed table?

I have pink, light blue and cobalt blue Depression Glass collections, but I've never collected yellow or light green, with the exception of a sugar and creamer in the Tea Room pattern.  I also have some vintage dark emerald green dishes and glasses that were recently shared on my blog.


Do you have a green Depression Glass collection?

My most recent St. Patrick's Day purchase [besides the nutcrackers] is a set of Christopher Radko spreaders.  Have you ever shopped at Poshmark Marketplace?  Last Sunday was the first time I've spent any time at their site.  The spreaders below are new and in their original box, and I think they will make a cute addition to an Irish tablescape for spreading shamrock shaped Irish butter on scones.  E-bay had a set of used ones which would have given me 8, but I didn't purchase them on Sunday, and today they're sold.  You snooze, you lose!  ;-)