Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Celebrating Memorial Day 2022

I hope you had a nice Memorial Holiday.  Our family did.  We began the day by meeting at our son Steve's house at 11:00 a.m. to drive to Great Lakes National Cemetery together.  It's in Holly, MI, about 42 miles from our house.  It's where both of my parents are buried.  My dad was a World War II veteran, and even though he didn't die in combat it seemed like the perfect place to begin our day. 

The cemetery was very busy with people paying their respects to deceased military soldiers, veterans and loved ones.  It was a picture perfect day with a temperature of 90 degrees but there was a nice breeze so it didn't seem that hot.

Jeremy and family drove from Chelsea and met us there.  Lori's husband had to drive his daughter and family to the airport so they couldn't join us until the picnic at the park.  Looking over the thousands of tombstones of those who served our country, I was reminded that freedom isn't free and how indebted we are to the men and women who've served to preserve the freedoms we enjoy - some of them giving their lives.

~ My dad's tombstone ~

My mother's on the opposite side of my dad's.

There's a tradition to leave a penny on the tombstone of the veteran if you visited their grave, so we all left a penny.

We gathered around the grave and each one shared memories of my dad and mom and then Steve prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for their lives as well as the lives of everyone buried there. It was very touching. I could have shared many wonderful memories, but their greatest parental accomplishment was teaching me about Jesus and His gift of salvation, which has given me purpose and contentment in life. They left a great Christian legacy for their family to follow.  Steve reminded Brooke, Izzy, Landon and Ellie that it only takes one generation for a Christian heritage to die out, and for them to stive, with God's help, to keep it alive for those who follow.

A kind lady paying respects to another deceased soldier took a picture of our group.   

~ Steve, Me and Jeremy ~

I left giving a gentle pat to my parent's tombstone telling them bye for now, and I'd see them again someday in Heaven.

Then it was off to Indian Springs Metropark for a Memorial Day family picnic.  The park was about 20 miles from the cemetery in White Lake and was a beautiful park - a hidden gem actually.  We decided it should be an annual Memorial Day destination.  Lori and Dave arrived ahead of us and found a beautiful spot with covered picnic tables very close to the 'splash pad' for the kids.  

The first thing on the agenda was to get the food on the table.  Not knowing if we'd have access to grills I prepared ready to eat food:  bar-be-qued chicken for pulled chicken sandwiches and bean bake [a yummy recipe from a deceased friend that all the guys loved - even those who don't like baked beans.  It was made with bacon, ground beef, and three kinds of beans, pork n beans, pinto, and white kidney beans.]  Jeremy requested corn on the cob, so I boiled it at home, wrapped in in tinfoil and a towel and transported it in a cooler.  It was still very hot when we ate.  I also made a pasta salad, a three-bean marinated salad, and slab apple pie [made in a sheet pan].  Lori brought yummy fresh fruit, Samantha brought munchies [chips, popcorn, etc.] and Sharon brought drinks. Nobody went away hungry!

[Lori and Me]

[Steve Sharon and Brooke]

[Jeremy and Samantha]

[Dave and Lori]

[Pa and Ma 😊]

I regret not getting a picture of John, Tiffany and the girls.  When I thought of it, it was right before everyone was ready to leave and the girls were so tired from their big day that it just wasn't a good time for picture taking.  I did manage to get a picture of Juliette though.

~ Sam and Ellie ~

~ The guys playing Corn Hole ~

[Dave and Jeremy]

[Landon and Papa]

All the gals at the 'Splash Pad'

Brooke and Izzy

The 'Splash Pad'

The end of a perfect day!  How did you celebrate?

Yesterday was National Scone Day, but I'll have to celebrate at a later time since no scones were on yesterday's menu - nor included in my weight loss regimen.  Did you eat a scone?  If so, what kind?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

This and That

I noticed in the estate sale pictures last Friday that a sale near me had two black teacups amidst several others.  I didn't feel like going over first thing in the morning to be among the early shoppers, but later in the day my hubby and I went over.  The estate sale lady said the black teacups were sold right away.  I wasn't disappointed because I really didn't need them, but I did find a pretty hand-painted teapot trivet for $2 which was a good buy.

The Whitney has so much teacup breakage, that I thought about buying the remaining teacups for work, but decided I better get approval first and find out how much they were willing to pay.  I photographed the teacups to show my boss.  He said he'd pay between $5 and $6 a teacup.  That price would be doable the last day of the sale when everything is reduced to 50% off.  After church on Sunday we returned to the sale.  A lady was ahead of us and said she has a tea party business. She had the same idea of waiting until the last day.  I waited until she made her selection, then I bought six remaining cups.  This could develop into a fun hobby of buying teacups for The Whitney.  Almost all estate sales have them.

Our front porch makeover is progressing nicely.  Our daughter came last Friday and planted flowers in the planters for my Mother's Day present.

Hubby power washed the cement floor while I was at work on Saturday so it would be clean when the outdoor rug arrives, sort of... it's dandelion, cottonwood, and maple whirlybird season, so it almost needs a daily sweep. He finished putting the swing back together after repairing and painting it and it looks great.  I still have to put the red seat cushion on it.

Monday he took down the front door to give it a new coat of paint.  He said it was heavier than the last time he took it down!  ;-)  It was a day project and by evening it was back in place.

I still haven't found a wreath I like for the door yet.  I went to several stores on Monday but nothing said 'take me home'.  My next place to look is 'At Home'.  I love wandering through that store.  I found a new wind chime for the porch.  We hung it near our bedroom window. Hubby wondered if it would be disruptive to sleep, but so far so good.  I enjoy hearing it.

Today I purchased a wicker chair for the porch.  It will go in the corner across from the swing [next to the flower planter on the brick pillar].  Only problem is... I want it painted white, so it's another 'honey do' job.  My hubby went with me when I bought it, so he's agreeable to the task.  We're almost done with the make-over and I think Alda Ellis would approve.  ;-)

On our way to get the chair, a family of geese were crossing the street completely oblivious to traffic, and in no hurry whatsoever.  I couldn't resist taking their picture.  It was drizzling, hence the water marks on the windshield that showed up in the photo.

While Jerry was busy outside this week, I occupied myself inside putting a patriotic tablescape together for fun. Monday our family is going to the military cemetery where my parents are buried and then having a picnic at a park afterwards.  I bought disposeable paper products for the picnic, but I wanted to do a tablescape in my dining area just because it's what I enjoy doing.  I already had most everything except the tablecloth, placemats, and cobalt blue candlesticks [ordered from Etsy], and I was anxious to see how everything looked together. Yep, I liked it!  Now to invite someone over and actually put it to use.

I left everything set-up for a day and then dismantled it.  The only thing I left intact was the centerpiece.  I'm waiting for a square patriotic table topper that I ordered to arrive and will put it underneath the centerpiece.

How's your week been going?  May 21st was International Tea Day.  Did you celebrate with a special tea?   I drank an orgnic, hand-picked green tea from Southern India.  

Yesterday, May 24th, was Queen Victoria's 203rd birthday, and soon [June 2-5] Great Britain will be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee - 70 years on the throne.  What an amazing lady and legacy.

[Internet Photo]

On this side of the pond, however, we'll be celebrating Memorial Day, and honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom.  How do you plan to spend the day?  As of right now, all our family will be together.

[Internet Photo]

God Bless America!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Advanced Showing of Downton Abbey Movie

My Mother's Day present from my hubby was dinner and advanced showing tickets to the second Downton Abbey movie - a New Era.  Last night was the night.

Since I'm diligently trying to lose weight to take pressure off my knee, my choice of restaurants was limited - Olive Garden [Soup and Salad], Chinese Restaurant [Chicken Subgum] or Applebee's [Oriental Chicken Salad].  I opted for Applebee's.  Weight is coming off, but ever so slowly.

After dinner we drove over to the movie theater for the 7:00 p.m. showing of the long-awaited movie. Even though it doesn't appear to be a chilly, rainy evening in the photo below, it was. My hubby counted only a total of 10 movie-goers who came out to see it.   I don't know if that means Downton Abbey mania is waning, movie-goers went to another nearby theater to see it, or they're waiting for opening day on May 20th.  I was very happy to see the advanced showing.

I'm not going to give any spoilers.  Suffice it to say I enjoyed it and want to see it one more time to take in anything I missed last night, but I'll be surprised if there's a movie #3.

Here's a few big screen photos I took last night that won't give anything away.


I definitely didn't need another Downton Abbey cookbook, but I wanted the only one I didn't have in my collection.  It recently arrived in the mail, and has some wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures.  I'm glad I got it.

If you see the movie please tell me how you liked it.

It's sad our world is so troubled that I left the theater thanking God that we were able to watch the movie peacefully without someone entering with a gun and shooting up the place. Perpetrators committing crimes of violence [shootings] are occurring everywhere, everyday, and it seems no one is safe anywhere anymore.  I take comfort in our Lord's words in the Book of Joshua:  "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Spring Cleaning the Front Porch

On March 10th of this year, an Internet tea friend organized a Facebook group called Christian Tea Time and Hospitality.  It already has 95 members and is growing rapidly.

Bernideen [the administrator and organizer] has chosen some wonderful topics:  Tea Wares Tuesday, Share a book Thursday [Afternoon Tea recipe books or Hospitality books], Tea in the Garden on Saturdays, and Scripture Sunday.   I like all the subjects, but Share a book Thursday and Scripture Sunday are my favorites.

It's so much fun seeing which books the other members have, and so far I have almost all the books that have been shared.  I can hardly pass up a recipe book and if it includes Afternoon Tea then purchasing a copy is a sure thing!

A couple of Thursday ago I posted one of my favorite hospitality books by Alda Ellis.  I wrote in the inside cover that I purchased it in 2007, the year I attended one of her classes at World Tea Expo.

It prompted me to pull her other books in my collection from the bookshelf:  A Table of Grace; Southern Teatime Pleasures [Alda lives in Little Rock, Arkansas], and Sentimental Living from the Porch - Four Seasons of Hospitality.  

I took this book to bed with me Sunday night and read it from cover to cover before going to sleep. Alda quotes her grandmother who used to say, "A front porch is a postcard of all who live beyond the door."  Alda says, "the front porch is the place where you welome others into your life... it's an extension of the house... an outdoor living space."

After reading her book, I was motivated to give my front porch a makeover!  My hubby and I went yesterday and bought a new mailbox and porch light - brass is out, black is in.  He took the porch swing down to give it a fresh coat of paint and make some minor repairs - it'll be 44 years old on Memorial Day, when we moved into our new house.  My parents gave it to us as a housewarming gift.  We ordered a new outdoor rug for the porch [first time for that], and the front door will get a fresh coat of red paint.  I'll look for a spring/summer door wreath, and the porch will be ready to welcome guests.  I'll post pictures when the project is completed.

Below is the swing when it was refurbished a few years ago.  

Since it hangs outdoors year round, it was time to do it again.

On another 'Share a book Thursday', Bernideen posted a hospitality and recipe book called, Come Over to my House - a guide to Christian Hospitality by Lora Lee Parrott.  I have her Sunday Dinner cookbook and have made several dishes from it, but somehow I missed this one [actually she's authored several books I don't have].  Lora Lee was the wife of Olivet Nazarene University's President, Dr. Leslie Parrott.  The book has been out of print for quite a while but I was able to find a used one.  Lora Lee transitioned to Heaven in 2011, but her legacy lives on.

I miss mentoring young women and mothers and I've been feeling a tug to get back into it.  I think I'll go to bed reading Lora Lee's book tonight.