Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween 2021

The Whitney decorated all three floors for Halloween this year.  I took a few pictures of the first floor when I went to work yesterday.   Glad I don't have to take it all down and pack it away.

Kristin, one of the servers who works with me during tea time on Saturdays, was the Mad Hatter yesterday.

My boss enjoys going to estate sales to purchase teacups for our Mansion Tea.  He went to a sale last week where he bought several of them.  Some were washed and put on the tables yesterday. Since I collect black teacups I couldn't help noticing a pretty black one.  I asked my boss if I could exchange one of my bone china teacups for the black one, and he said okay.  The teacup is almost as old as me.  

It was given to Anni by her mom in 1951.  My boss probably went to Anni's estate sale.  I will treasure it and keep it safe.  At the restaurant it would get broken eventually.  

I'll close this post with pics of my three little trick-or-treaters so many years ago.  My sweet Lori [below] in 1969 when she was two years old.  Do you remember the days of molded hard-plastic face masks?

~ Steve in 1973 ~

~ Jeremy 1983 ~

I know Halloween has its roots in paganism, evil spirits and witchcraft, but at our house it was never about the dark side or scary.  It was a fun night for the kids to dress up in light-hearted costumes and go begging for candy.  They still have fond memories of it today.

As I type this post my hubby is at our son Steve's, helping him with his annual neighborhood garage gathering.  Every year since he's lived in his subdivision, he opens his garage and serves coffee, hot chocolate, cider, Krispy Kreme donuts and candy to neighborhood kids and their parents.  Some years he's even grilled hot dogs. There's a portable fire pit just outside the garage for trick-or-treaters to warm themselves from the cold night air.  The neighbors have come to expect it and look forward to it. 

~ Steve & Sharon ~

Granddaughter Tiffany posted the adorable pictures below of Evie as Princess and Juliette as Minnie Mouse this year - history repeating itself with the passage of time.

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] 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 appear during or after a rain storm, but it hadn't rained a drop.  We took it as a beautiful sign from God that He was pleased with this new building where the gospel will be proclaimed.

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.  

Update 10/27/2021

Someone else, with no affiliation to our church, saw the same thing we saw Sunday morning and posted a picture on Facebook [below] along with an explanation.  It is not called a rainbow but a sun halo or its scientific name, '22 degree halo' because they appear around the sun or moon with a radius of about 22 degrees.  Halos are a sign of high, thin cirrus clouds drifting 20,000 feet or more above our heads. These clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals.  The halos seen are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals.  

It was the first time I had ever seen a sun halo.  Have you ever seen one before?  Regardless of the scientific reasons for their appearance, I still believe it was a sign of blessing and approval from God.  He can make them appear at His command since He controls nature.  

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, 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!