Thursday, September 30, 2021

Gone With the Wind

I feel like summer has 'gone with the wind' since we're nine days into fall already.

On Tuesday [the 28th] my hubby and I made our way to Independence Village in nearby Plymouth, MI, where I did a program on the 1939 epic movie, Gone With the Wind. 45 seniors attended the tea and program held in the facility's dining room.

There was even a couple of gentlemen in attendance.

The program started at 2:00, and we arrived a little early so I could set up my display table.  I ordered GWTW fabric printed for its 70th Anniversary [in 2009] from an Etsy vendor.  For an added visual, I sewed it to fabric on the front of the table cover.  

The Director picked the subject knowing the residents would all be familiar with the book and film, and because it was a favorite book of hers in school.  We opened with a fun, easy quiz.  The winner received an adult coloring book of Old South Costumes [which were worn in the film] and a box of colored pencils.  Everyone else received a package of peanuts since peanuts and pecans are Georgia's #1 crop.  

Michigan has a Gone With the Wind expert who lives in the area.  Her name is Kathleen Marcaccio and she travels the state and beyond giving talks about the book, its author, the movie and cast members.  Presently only one credited cast member is still living, but she's met several of them over the 25 years that she's been speaking.  I've heard her speak twice and she's amazing.  I should have been intimidated to invite her to my presentation since her level of expertise on the subject is far beyond mine, but she's a very nice, down-to-earth lady, and it was a pleasure to have her there.  Unbeknownst to her, one of the residents is an long-time family friend who recently moved to Independence Village, so they got to catch up a bit.  Her attending was meant to be.

~ Kathleen and Me ~

In today's world, words must be chosen carefully so no one gets offended. I began my presentation with a brief disclaimer stating for better or worse, history is history and we can't erase it.  During time periods when things weren't as they should have been, we have the opportunity and responsibility to learn from the past to ensure things are right today. The graphic below sums up my sentiments very well.

I chose to focus on the life of Margaret Mitchell [the author of the book], the cast and people they portrayed [of course, Scarlett was center stage], David O. Selznick [the film's producer], and the costumes.  It was fascinating how costume designer, Walter Plunkett, used the  'psychology of colors' to create his exquisite outfits for Scarlett to reflect her state of mind and emotions throughout the film.  There was little time left to talk about the architecture and food during that time period, but I did point out four staircases [two very grand ones] that were used in several movie scenes.

Peach scones were served at the beginning of the tea, followed by a cup of tomato bisque soup, with pimento cheese tea sandwiches and deviled eggs as the savories.  Dessert was pecan bread pudding.  There were other menu items too, but since they ate while I spoke I didn't see everything.  A good time was had by all.

Yesterday, I drove downriver to have lunch with some girlfriends I went to high school with. We had a lot of fun catching up and solving all the problems of the world! ;-)  Next month they will all come to my house for lunch.

Yesterday was also my youngest son Jeremy's 42nd birthday as well as granddaughter Isabella's 16th birthday.  Daughter-in-law, Samantha, couldn't have given Jeremy a better birthday present than a beautiful daughter born on his birthday!  We will celebrate with them the beginning of next week.  Below are the cute yard signs Samantha surprised them with yesterday morning.  They live on a corner, so the L-shape worked perfect for visibility.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Autumn and Apples Tea at The Whitney

I've been absent from my blog for awhile.  I was happy to attend the first service in our new church building on September 12th and have all my family together for the occasion.  After church we went out to dinner together and it was a wonderful day.

On Tuesday I began to feel like I was coming down with a cold and by Wednesday I was down for the count with a very busy weekend looming ahead!  COVID19 and the Delta variant always come to mind when one gets sick these days, but I had no fever, no sore throat, and no lung congestion - just a very stuffy nose/sinuses accompanied by a cough.  With rest, cold medication, lots of hot tea, and prayers for a quick recovery, I rebounded enough to go to work on Saturday. Late in the afternoon my hubby delivered the apple basket favors to the restaurant, reclaiming our family room.  I was glad to  cross the project off my to do list.

I don't normally work on Sundays, but my boss asked me weeks ago if I could be at the Autumn and Apples tea.  It was one of 13 events centered around Cityfest.  It was a beautiful 80 degree day, so the event was held outside on the newly-built deck in the mansion garden.  The honeybees joined us too, but they harmed no one.  Guests also received a bottle of Apple Cider from Parmenter's Cider Mill in Northville.

Angie and Kristin were two of the servers at the tea, and I didn't get a photo of John.

 Kristin and me wearing the apple apron I bought for the tea.

I introduced the new tea that will be featured throughout fall - Apple Cinnamon Black Tea.  The feedback was very good.  Cocktails using the tea paired with bourbon and apple cider were served to guests along with Mimosas upon arrival, so everyone left feeling happy!  ;-)

Scones began the tea meal - apple and blueberry.  I snapped a picture in the kitchen while they were being plated.

Following the scones was the fruit course - apples, raspberries and chantilly cream.

I took a picture of Angie as she was bringing the tiered server out from the kitchen.  A special apple menu was created for the tea.

Three ladies who attended last year's tea returned this year.  Joel provided background music on the electronic keyboard while the guests dined, and at the conclusion of the tea Dave Duey [Director of Operations and my boss] took the guests on a tour of the mansion.  It was a lovely event that everyone in attendance enjoyed.   Farewell to Cityfest 2021!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Little Bit of Everything

The Jeulia teacup pendant that I ordered as a 'trial run' arrived very quickly, nicely packaged, and as pretty in person as in the picture.

So... I took the plunge and ordered the teacup/coffee cup ring!  It was already on sale for $119 [down from $199] and with a 15% off coupon it was $101 with free shipping.

Yesterday was another bake day.  I had peaches to use up from the Peach Festival and I couldn't remember ever making peach hand pies so I got busy baking. The pastry crust called for butter and shortening, making it very flaky and delicious. The recipe made 15 hand pies and the author said to divide any remaining peach mixture into ramekins, and top with oats, brown sugar and cinnamon for a quick cobbler.  I got three cobblers in addition to the hand pies.   I'm ready to buy more peaches!

After dinner we drove to the church property for a circular prayer meeting around the exterior of the building before our first service on Sunday.  It was so exciting to witness the great turnout.  We were able to completely encircle the exterior of the building with prayer.

And the Son/sun set upon us!

On the ride home it was 8:00 o'clock and dusk had set in.  The days are getting shorter and daylight ends earlier.  [Big Sigh!]

I cloistered myself in my office today to work on the apple basket favors for The Whitney. There is a process - it's not difficult, but is time consuming.  Today I'm giving a step-by-step tutorial in case you might like to make these for a fall tea party favor.

Step 1: Labeling the tea packets and filling them.  Each packet holds enough loose tea for six cups.  

Packets are inserted inside the apples and awaiting final assembly.

Step 2:  Preparing silk leaves.  I bought maple silk leaf bushes and cut the leaves off leaving enough stem for the wire on a pick to wrap around it.  I allowed two leaves per basket.

Step 3:  Measuring and cutting 1 1/2 inch wire burlap ribbon into 14-inch strips to make bows for the front of the baskets, and hot gluing them on.

Step 4:  Filling the baskets with shred.  I opted to use brown, orange, and yellow [gold] shred and I'll alternate the colors when I place them on the tables.

I'm placing the baskets filled with shred and two silk leaves in a box for transporting, and will place the apples in the baskets the day of the event.  So far there's 40 baskets in the box and I hope to finish the remaining 40 baskets tomorrow.

Below is the finished basket, but the picture was taken with a wider burlap ribbon.  It's much easier working with wire ribbon and I like the 1 1/2 inch ribbon a lot better.

I hope this tutorial is helpful.  I ordered the apples from Oriental Trading Co. and the tea packets and 1 pt. wooden berry baskets were from Amazon.   Shred and silk maple leaf bushes came from Dollar Tree, and the burlap ribbon and wire picks came from a local craft store called Dealer's Discount.

Monday, September 6, 2021

An Enjoyable Labor Day Weekend

Our holiday weekend kicked off on Friday night with Lori's birthday dinner.  It was the third postponement due to complications from Jerry's surgery, but third time is charm and it finally happened.

Saturday was a work day for me, but Sunday was a beautiful end of summer day, so I decided to take Jerry to the Sunflower Festival at Blake's Orchard in nearby Armada, MI.  It seemed most of southeastern Michigan went to the festival too!  It was VERY busy, but a good opportunity to soak up some sunshine and get a little exercise, and Jerry was glad to get out of the house for something other than a Dr. appointment. 

I've gone to Blake's Lavender Festival several times, but this was the first time I've gone to their Sunflower Festival.

I had no idea Blake's encompasses so much acreage, and the sunflower fields are at the far end of their property.  They shuttled guests back to the fields by a train and large tractor driven wagons.  I loved the stationary wagon of animated singers below.

As we meandered our way back to the boarding area we passed many vendor tents.

The line for the train and wagons was long, but it moved quickly and the weather was so pleasant nobody seemed to mind.

We boarded by the corn field, and rode past apple and pear orchards, pumpkin patches, and u-pick tomato plants before arriving at the sunflower field.  On the way back we passed the lavender field. We opted to get a mason jar to fill with as many sunflowers as it could hold for $20.

Finally we arrived at the sunflower field.  For all the sunflowers that were cut by festival attendees, there were still plenty remaining.  To get smaller sunflowers we had to walk into the rows a ways because attendees had cut those on the outer perimeter.  Once we got among the sunflowers we discovered we weren't the only ones who enjoyed the flowers - the bees liked them even more than we did!  Almost every flower had at least one bee on it, and my excitement quickly turned to fear because Jerry is allergic to bees and he didn't have an EpiPen with him.  I prayed God would protect him from being stung after everything else he's been through recently, and thankfully we got out of the field without any bee stings.

As you can see in the photo below, the sunflowers were almost as tall as me!

The line was long waiting for a wagon or train ride back to the front of the property, but we weren't in line in the photo below.  We were happily seated on the wagon. 

Our original plan was to drive from the Sunflower Festival over to the Peach Festival in Romeo, MI, but we decided two events in one day was too ambitious for Jerry recovering from surgery, so we drove home and saved the Peach Festival for today.

I'm enjoying the cheerful sunflowers we brought home with us.  They're my favorite flower.

When I checked my Facebook page this morning a 'memory' came up from Sept. 6, 2018 where I posted, "Off to The Whitney Restaurant for my second day on the job."  Three years have passed so quickly and now I begin year #4.

We left home around 11:00 this morning to go to the 90th Annual Peach Festival in Romeo.  It's another picture perfect day.  First stop was Frontier Town on the way to Romeo.  We quickly browsed the vendor tents then went to the farmer's market area to purchase some peaches.

A dozen of these beauties came home with us.

Before we left Frontier Town we stopped by 'Bake My Day' to purchase two peach hand pies.  They were delicious!

Then we were off to downtown Romeo.  The parade was yesterday, but there was still a lot of people walking around town enjoying the beautiful weather.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of a newly painted mural on the side of one of the buildings.

Jerry didn't feel up to anymore walking, but before heading home we decided to drive by our new church building which was close by.  This Wednesday night we are hoping to have enough people to completely encircle the exterior of the building for a dedication prayer before our first service this coming Sunday, Sept. 12th.  It's finally happening - our permanent place of worship.  To God be the glory!

Hope you've had a enjoyable holiday weekend!