Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Memorial Day 2023

Did you have a nice Memorial Day?  For many the holiday marks the beginning of summer even though summer doesn't officially arrive until June 21st.

Our family had such a nice time at Indian Springs Metropark in White Lake last Memorial Day that we decided to return again this year.  The park is the best kept secret, because it's a beautiful park with few visitors or picnickers.  The entry fee is only $10 per vehicle, unless an annual pass has been purchased.  Our daughter arrived around 11:00 a.m. to secure the same pavillion we had last year, and the rest of us trickled in around noon or shortly thereafter.

It was a picture perfect day with a high of 87 degrees and a gentle breeze - ideal for the little [and not so little] grandkids who wanted to enjoy the splash pad and/or play corn hole. 

[Jeremy and John]

[Brooke and Izzy]

[Landon, Brooke and Izzy]

~ The Family Patriarch ~

And an uninvited guest who wasn't shy and made himself right at home among us.

The family gathering wasn't only a time of celebrating Memorial Day together, but a farewell for John, Tiffany, Evie and Juliette.  John accepted a new ministry position in Oceanside, California and they will leave Michigan next week.  It was a bittersweet gathering.


Four of our grandchildren are adults now, so it's difficult to have an event where everyone is present - four were missing in the photo below, but we still had a great time together.

To include tea in this post, I recently saw a photo of a tea mural painted on the side of a building that I thought was very creative.

Friday, May 26, 2023

White House Menus

Since this is a patriotic weekend, I thought it would be fun to share two books in my library - one which just arrived in today's mail.

Those who know me and have followed my blog, know I like history and cooking - not particularly in that order.  I'm a subscriber to Anne Byrn's weekly newsletter, Between the Layers [she's authored several books but is probably best known for The Cake Mix Doctor].  Her May 9th article featured Alex Prud'Homme's book, Dinner With the President.  [He is Julia Child's great nephew by marriage and coauthored My Life in France with her.]  The book sounded so good, I ordered it.  

I haven't had a chance to delve into it yet, but I'm impressed just by reading the dust cover which states food is not just fuel... it's a tool of communication. Some of the most significant moments in American history have occurred over meals.  Anne Byrn says food is a connector.  I agree and it doesn't just apply to US Presidents.  It's at the core of hospitality, be it family and/or friends.

I can hardly wait to see if tea is in the book beyond the Boston Tea Party.  Surely it must be!

The second book has been on my bookshelf longer, The Original White House Cookbook 1887 Edition [mine is a reproduced 1999 edition].  

It has a chapter dedicated to coffee, tea, and beverages.  For being written in 1887 some of the instructions still hold true today, such as warming the pot first before steeping tea in it.  A Chinese interviewee for the book said to drink tea plain without the addition of milk or sugar because tea-brokers and tea-tasters, never do, epicures never do, and the Chinese never do!  It's true additives do alter the taste of tea.

I only have one piece of reproduced Presidential china by Woodmere China Company and it's a cup and saucer in the pattern Mary Todd Lincoln bought for the White House when her husband was in office.  

President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Our nation had not yet begun to celebrate Memorial Day when he delivered it, but there are many connections between him and the national holiday we will be celebrating on Monday. 


Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day... 

As we honor those who served and fought for our country - who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  We remember their bravery and selfless service to our country, and we offer our sincerest thanks and gratitude.   God bless all who serve in our Armed Forces.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Tea at Royal Treat Tearoom

I hadn't been to tea with my girlfriend, Lori, since the beginning of March, so we made plans to go to Royal Treat tearoom today at 1:00 o'clock, and we stayed until they closed at 3:00 o'clock!  We had lots of catching up to do.  ;-)

I ordered a pear flavored green tea and Lori got a hibiscus/pomegranate herbal blend.  Mine was served in a pretty black teacup and Lori's in daffodil teacup.

We began with an array of delicious scones.

We each ordered their quiche and salad.  Mine was Bacon, Mushroom and Onion, and I think Lori's was Ham and Three Cheeses.

Lori is such a good friend, and our time together flew by.   We're always able to pick up right where we left off.

When I got home my hubby had gone to our granddaughter's tennis match, so I decided to go to an estate sale that was less than 2 miles from my house.  I ended up purchasing 13 napkins [six St. Patrick's Day, five Birthday, and two Halloween] for $6.50.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Mother's Day 2023

I hope you enjoyed a Happy Mother's Day yesterday.  We were supposed to be in England, but fate [the transatlantic voyage was canceled by Cunard] decided we should be at home. 

My daughter, Lori, thinking we'd be in England, made plans for her husband and her to go to Holland, MI to celebrate his birthday [which is today].  It's become an annual tradition for her to plant geraniums in my two front porch planters for my Mother's Day gift.  She came over on Thursday afternoon to do that.

Now I need to get busy and bring up the rug and porch furniture from the basement [where it's been stored all winter], now that nice weather is finally here.

My youngest son, Jeremy, was in Memphis, TN yesterday, but he called and FaceTimed me while I was on the way to church yesterday morning to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.  And Lori called later in the afternoon.

She and Dave planned a meet-up with Tiffany [her daughter], John and the girls on their way home from Holland.  Tiffany posted two pictures that I'm sharing.  One was taken yesterday and the other was from Evie's school program last week.  Lori is treasuring these times with Tiffany and her granddaughters before their move to California next month.

Steve was my only child who remained in the area to celebrate with, but he made it very special.  He incorporated a picture of him and me in the hospital shortly after his birth in his message.  The two Biblical women he focused on were Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Jocabed, the mother of Moses, but he used our picture to convey "Nobody holds a child more closely after birth than a mother... she's not a stranger to her baby.  They've been getting to know one another for nine months...". While a mother's arms are always there to embrace her children, she ultimately has to release them to God, others, and the world around them.

After church a photographer took photos of mothers and their families.

Then seven of us [Steve, Sharon, Brooke, Sharon's parents, and Jerry and me] went out to dinner at a restaurant in Imaly City.  It was a nice time of visiting and being together.

I'm very thankful for the [3] children and spouses, [8] grandchildren and one spouse, and [2] great-grandchildren God has blessed me with.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Izzy's Senior Prom

Last Saturday [May 6th] while we were in Illinois celebrating Brooke's graduation, Izzy was home in Chelsea getting ready to go to her Senior Prom.  I'm sharing some photos that Jeremy posted.

[Izzy and Jeremy - Father/Daughter]

[Izzy and Samantha - Mother/Daughter]

Izzy and Landon - he's definitely not her 'little' brother anymore!

Jeremy added this 'throwback' photo to prove how quickly time passes.

The whole family, minus Ellie who was probably taking the picture.

Her high school commencement and open house will be coming up very soon, so more pictures will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Two Family Graduations the Same Day

We left home early last Friday morning headed for Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois [57 miles south of Chicago] to attend our granddaughter Brooke's college graduation.  I hadn't been on the campus since our son Jeremy's freshman semester in the fall of 1997.  Many changes and upgrades have been made in 26 years, and it's a beautiful campus.   

The first event was a 'Sending/Commissioning Service' at 1:00 o'clock from the School of Education.  Brooke's Bachelor of Science degree is in Child Development.  We're very proud of her as she completed her degree in three years, summa cum laude.

After the service Brooke took us on a tour of the campus.  The first stop was Weber Hall where she had many classes.  

[Sharon, Brooke and Steve]

[Me, Brooke and Jerry]

Then we moved on to the athletic building where Brooke posed by the tiger, Olivet's mascot, in front of the building.  We couldn't convince her to climb on its back!  ;-)

Brooke and her dad led the way while the rest of us followed close behind.

I think this photo was taken inside the Benner Library & Resource Center.

After the tour we went back to our hotel where Steve ordered Chicago Giordano's Deep Dish Pizza for dinner.  Then it was time to get ready for the 7:30 p.m. Baccalaureate Service in the beautiful Centennial Chapel.

After the service, Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, President of Olivet, and his wife, Tammy, hosted a reception in Ludwig Center for the graduates and their family members.  We knew Gregg and Tammy long before he became University President as he was a staff member at the church we attended and where I was secretary for 22 years.

[Gregg, Tammy and Brooke]

The Commencement Service was Saturday morning, May 6, at 9:30 a.m. in Centennial Chapel.


It was a beautiful service and the speakers were far from dry and boring.  The proud and exciting moment arrived when Brooke walked across the stage to receive her diploma from Dr. Chenoweth.

Then there were more photos of the happy graduate.

Below are the steps of Burke Administration Building - one of the oldest buildings on campus, built in 1906.

[Brooke and her maternal grandmother, Sheena]

After photos, we went out to eat and then rushed back to Weber Hall on campus to watch granddaughter, Brianna [Brooke's older sister], receive her Master's Degree at 2:00 p.m. from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.  It was live streamed and we watched it on Steve's laptop in one of the classrooms.  Gotta love technology when you can't be two places at once.

Afterwards we went to Brooke's apartment to load her belongings into Steve's, Sharon's and our car, then on to our hotel to relax for the evening and watch YouTube coverage of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla.

It was an action packed two days and we were so glad we were able to be a part of it.  We headed for home on Sunday morning and got home around 3:00 p.m.  

Not much tea in this post, but I did manage to make myself a cup of Twinings Earl Grey tea each morning at the hotel.  Things are returning to a normal routine at home now and I'm enjoying my usual Harney & Sons Green Citron tea.

While we were at Olivet, a young man from our church sent Steve a screen shot photo of Tony Muzzi, my boss and General Manager at The Whitney, when he appeared on Fox 2 News Saturday morning sharing highlights of the restaurant's Mansion Tea in coordination with their coverage of the British Coronation.  I found a link to the segment and watched it on my iPhone while traveling home Sunday.  I cringed when he and the news anchors referred to Afternoon Tea as high tea because in England, high tea is traditionally a hearty evening meal accompanied with tea for the working man and his family, which we know as supper.  There is nothing elegant or dainty about high tea, but it's a common misnomer with Americans.