Monday, October 31, 2022

October Endings

Last Saturday, The Whitney cancelled their 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m seatings for Mansion Tea and did an Absinthe Tea for 36 guests instead. The servers came dressed in costume.  It was a short work day for me as I only went in long enough to make the tea, organize the teapots and put the warmers and fresh candles on the tables.  One of the servers texted me afterwards and said it was a lot of fun.  She sent some pictures to share.


Is this what you call "laying down on the job?"  It's actually Steven, who covers for me on Sundays when I'm not there.

I didn't mind the short work day because I came home to a quiet house and was able to work on a new Shutterfly photo album that will be a Christmas gift.  I received a coupon for unlimited pages which is in effect until November 13th, so I'm diligently working to get the album completed on time.

My hubby drove out to Chelsea to watch the rival U of M / Michigan State football game with our youngest son and his family.  When he got there Izzy and Landon were all dressed in their Michigan State clothes ready to cheer their team on to victory.  Unfortunately the Spartans lost 7 to 29, but my hubby enjoyed being with family in spite of the loss.

In addition to today being Halloween, it's also Reformation Day.  Thank you, Martin Luther!

Granddaughter Brooke posted a Halloween picture of her this year as Cat Woman with her kitten Gus.

And our son, Jeremy, posted a picture of Ellie in her 2022 Ghost Busters costume.

Now I'm off to our son Steve's house for his annual Halloween Open Garage.  My hubby's been there all afternoon helping him set-up.  He serves coffee, cider, hot chocolate and donuts to the trick or treaters and their parents who want to come in out of the cold to warm up for a few minutes.  The forcast for tonight isn't too cold - 62 degrees, but there's possible rain.  If I get a chance, I'll take some pictures to share.

Happy Halloween to you and yours [if you celebrate the day].  I know it has dark and evil origins, but most children see it as a fun night to dress up and go door to door with their friends to get lots of candy.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Celebrating Our Middle Child's Birthday

Yesterday was Steve's 53rd Birthday.  How have 53 years gone by so quickly?  He makes my hubby and me very proud and grateful.   We invited him and his wife to dinner and I made some of his favorite things.  The birthday plate came out of storage.

The meal began with Minnesota Wild Rice soup.  The main course was Creole Chicken - a recipe I got from a co-worker over 43 years ago - served with white rice.  Veggies were Steamed Broccoli and Corn Pudding.

Dessert was a Boston Cream Cake.

I'm very thankful to be his momma!  💓

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A Beautiful Fall Weekend

Last weekend was a busy one.  As usual, Saturday was a work day at The Whitney, serving tea to 77 guests.  After work I came home, changed my clothes, and hubby and I headed out to our church's annual Harvest gathering. We were an hour late, but two hours of fun still remained. There were lots of attendees and an activity for everyone to enjoy, plus lots of yummy food.  I took lots of pics to share.

There was a petting zoo and horse/pony rides for the children, and a pumpkin painting station.

~ Inflatable bounce structures ~

~ Hayrides ~

~ S'mores Fire Pit ~

Barbecued Pulled Pork, Mac'n'Cheese, and Coleslaw from K-Blocks Fire Pot BBQ

Apple Cider and Donuts from Blakes Orchard and lots of assorted pies [I had cherry]

~ Dining Tent ~

And a Chili Cook-off Contest.  I think there were 20 different pots of chili.

This pot of chili didn't quite make it to the competition.  The contestant had her crock pot sitting on the front seat, and when she unexpectedly put on her brakes it slid off on the floor.  Thank heavens for floor mats!

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors.  We've been blessed with several gorgeous Indian Summer days [temps in the low 70's], and the colors have been so vibrant this year.

Grandson-in-law, John, posted these pictures of Evie and Juliette playing out in the leaves at their house last Saturday.

I'll leave you with a new Cinnamon Roll recipe that was shared on Facebook by a friend from Heavenly Recipes. It's perfect for a fall breakfast/brunch accompanied by a cup of Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea or Spiced Apple Cider.  I took the picture hot out of the oven.

2 cans of Cinnamon Rolls cut into quarters
1 can Apple Pie Filling
1/2 cup chopped walnuts [or pecans]
Gently toss together cinnamon roll quarters and apple pie filling until all the quarters are coated. Turn into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.  Sprinkle top with chopped nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  When it comes out of the oven drizzle the icing [which is included in the Cinnamon Roll can] over the top.  Best served warm.  My hubby thought it would be good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I thought it would be good with some drizzles of caramel syrup.  Leftovers reheat beautifully in the microwave oven. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Tea in TN

Last July I flew down to Collierville, TN [near Memphis] to meet with the Life Enrichment Director at Story Point Retirement Community, for the purpose of planning a tea party.  You may remember my blog post about the trip.

Friday, October 21st was the day set for the tea party, so my son Jeremy and I flew down at 8:00 a.m.  The exterior of Story Point was decorated for fall and the interior was decorated for the community's first tea party.

Heather [the Life Enrichment Director] and her committee did an outstanding job executing all the details from our July planning meeting.

The State of Tennessee was the theme and the state's colors are red, white and blue, so those were the tablescape colors. A miniature state flag was placed in each floral centerpiece.

Tennessee is home to many country western singers and entertainers, and since most of them play guitars, a miniature guitar was at each place setting for a keepsake.

It's a fairly new retirement community [less than two years old], so they haven't had an opportunity to accumulate a lot of tea equipage yet.  With no tiered servers, the tea meal was served buffet style which worked fine.

The menu was centered around Tennessee favorites. Savories were: Pimento cheese sandwiches, garnished with a tomato wedge [tomatoes are the state fruit and one of the state's largest crops]. It's been said pimento cheese is so ingrained in the lives of Southerners that they don't realize others don't share their passion!   

Giving a nod to Elvis, there were Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches [his favorite].

Tennessee [Memphis in particular] is known for their barbecue, and they're also lovers of cornbread, so we combined the two and put a dollop of pulled pork in whiskey barbecue sauce in the center of miniature cornbread muffins.  South Pittsburg, TN hosts a National Cornbread Festival every year.

There were two large trays of assorted scones accompanied by mock Devonshire Cream, Strawberry Cream and Whiskey Butter.  Tennessee has 26 Whiskey Distilleries, with Jack Daniels being the oldest, so a nod was given to them in two of the foods.  

Desserts were:  Miniature Banana Puddings, the official dessert of Tennessee.  A National Banana Pudding Festival is held every October in Centerville, TN; Assorted Fruit Hand Pies [giving a nod to Dale's Fried Pies made in Knoxville], and Pecan Caramel Bars [not pictured].

The residents getting ready to enjoy the tea meal.

~ One of the committee members ~

I purchased Earl Grey Supreme tea from Harney & Sons to serve with the meal.  I took my two Farberware urns for steeping, and they will purchase their own for future teas.

Heather, the Life Enrichment Director, pouring tea.

The residents arrived at the dining room while southern tunes were played on a Grand Piano with a player system, and an Appalachian Dulcimer was displayed.  This instrument was enjoyed by Appalachian Tennesseans. 

A resident who said she's had her hat for more than 25 years and the tea party gave her the opportunity to wear it again.

This is the sweet lady who loaned all her teacups to be used for the event.  

Heather, the Life Enrichment Director, and me.  I wore my red, white and blue to honor Tennessee!

~ Curtis and Tim - Story Point Management Team ~

A candid photo while walking up to the podium.

When the residents finished eating they played a fun Tennessee trivia game.  I learned so much about the great State of Tennessee putting the trivia together.

The residents enjoyed the tea party and said it was TEA-riffic!  They're already talking about planning a Christmas Tea.   As I boarded the plane for the return flight to Michigan, wonderful memories of a fun day at Story Point came with me.  What an honor to share the joy of tea with great Tennesseans!  The Life Enrichment Director from Portage, MI community [western side of the state] flew on the plane with us to observe the tea in hopes of doing one there.  I hope tea parties catch on and are implemented at all Story Point communities.  

I hope you've enjoyed reading about the tea party.