Wednesday, August 23, 2017

End of Summer Picnic

My hubby [along with two other General Motors retirees] have worked all summer in G.M Student Corps, mentoring life skills to a group of high school seniors.  

Today was the last day of the program, so a picnic was held for them, their families, Pershing High School alumni, and the community.  It was a perfect 74 degree day, with sunshine mingled with white fluffy clouds.

Wonder if one of their projects next year will be a new digital school sign?  The Detroit school has so many needs, and this was their first year to participate in the program. There's enough projects to keep the Student Corps busy for several years to come.

The students were busy getting things set-up before the first guests arrived at 10:00 this morning.

The caterer was getting his grill set up for hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbequed chicken wings, accompanied by corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked beans, and pasta salad.   Also on the menu were watermelon slices, lemon cake, and ice cream.  Lemonade and bottled iced water were the beverages.  Everything that makes for a great summer picnic!

I arrived just shortly after 12:00 noon.  A small group of students made the picnic atmosphere festive with their percussion instruments.

Jerry was pleased with the turn-out.  He said people came steadily from 10:00 in the morning until it ended at 2:00 in the afternoon.

G.M. Corps students at their designated tables.

Jerry with two girls [sisters] who were in the program with their family.  The girls are wearing gray G.M. Student Corps t-shirts and ball caps.

After the picnic was over and everything was dismantled, Jerry and the other two mentors said their good-byes to the students, with the hope that they made a positive impact on their lives and future.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Southern Belle Tea Tour

It's been awhile since I've blogged about the Southern Belle Tea Tour that will take place September 11-20 - less than three weeks from now.  For awhile it was uncertain it would actually take place, but I'm happy to report it's full speed ahead.

Nancy at Two Cottages and Tea blog [who is one of the tour participants] blogged about a Vintage Crinoline Lady Tea on July 11th, and enlightened me about Crinoline Lady teapots, teacups, luncheon plates and figurines.  Since I don't collect them [yet], I didn't know that's what they were called.

Recently, while working on the tea tour, I decided on a particular Crinoline Lady [depicted on a yellow china plate] to use as our "logo" for the tea tour.  Doesn't she make a perfect Southern Belle in the photo above?

In April 2017, Angela at Tea With Friends blog wrote a post about an option Adagio Teas offers called, "Create a Blend."  She called her custom blend, Southern Belle Tea, inspired by the Southern heroine, Scarlet O'Hara, in Gone With the Wind. 

When my girlfriend and I began thinking about gift bags for the tour participants, Adagio's individual tins of custom blended tea immediately came to mind.  

I wasn't as creative as Angela who created her blend from scratch.  I combined two of Adagio's existing teas - Bright Ceylon flavored with lush peaches and Classic Ceylon touched with the flavor of fresh cream, and I had them add a touch a cinnamon to it.

I was so excited when the tins of tea arrived last week.  I haven't sampled the tea yet, but it smells divine.  And I'm happy to say Angela will be joining us - and bringing two other tea loving ladies - at our first stop in Chattanooga, Polly Claire's tearoom, located in the former the Dent Plantation.

I'll be sure to blog about every detail of the tea tour.  The itinerary has been amended slightly due to changes at some of the places where we were going to stop, but I actually like the amended itinerary better than the original [after I recovered from the stress].  ;-)  It's disappointing that tearoom owners and businesses don't keep their websites current.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Musings

The weekend has come and gone and there's no longer any sounds of children in my home. The "grands" have all had their turn at Nana and Papa's house for the summer, and are now in Port Austin, MI for a week at the beach before school starts back.  Jeremy and Samantha [youngest son and wife, and parents of Izzy, Landon and Ellie] came Friday evening to attend a wedding, and departed for home afterwards.

I babysat the children while they were at the wedding, who were all in agreement that they wanted mac and cheese for dinner.  Later in the evening - at Izzy's request - we watched an Anne of Green Gables DVD while munching on popcorn.  Then they occupied themselves on their ipads. 

Sunday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock was the monthly tea and my presentation on Eleanor Roosevelt at Shorepointe Assisted Living.  12 ladies attended.

For their favor, I placed a tea bag in a nylon drawstring bag along with Eleanor's quote "A woman is like a tea bag: You never know how strong it is until it's in hot water."

I also included a half-dozen chocolate chip Teddy Grahams in the bags since Teddy Roosevelt was her uncle, and he thought as much of her as if she were his own daughter.   He gave her away at her wedding.

I learned a lot about Mrs. Roosevelt while researching for this program.  I was a 10th grader when she passed away in November 1962, and until now I never took the time to learn about her somewhat sad, yet remarkable life.  But I do remember my mother often saying one of her other quotes:  "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Yesterday was also granddaughter Brooke's 15th birthday.  We will celebrate next Sunday at a combined birthday party for her and my daughter, Lori, who will be having the Big 50! Yikes! I have a daughter who's turning 50. Didn't I just celebrate my 50th birthday?  It seems like it anyway.  ;-)

With the weekend behind us, the big news of today is the solar eclipse.  I'm content to watch it on television or the Internet with no risk to my eyesight. It's a partly cloudy day in southeastern MI, with a temperature of 84 degrees and 54% humidity.  A good day to occupy myself indoors while sipping tea!  Do you plan to watch the eclipse outdoors?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hoffman Media's Newest Book and Magazine

I've been anxiously waiting for Hoffman Media's newest book, Teatime Parties, to arrive in my mailbox, and it finally came.  I pre-ordered it weeks ago.  The subtitle is Afternoon Tea to Commemorate the Milestones of Life.  

I also recently purchased the Special Collector's Issue of Teatime Celebrations.  It will be on display at stores until October 16th.  Its subtitle is Tea Parties for all Seasons.

I'm not sure when I'll get to sit down and go through both of these publications.  It won't be until after my presentation is over at the assisted living facility this Sunday, but they're here whenever I'm ready.

This morning I took Ellie over to the Warren pool to go swimming.  We were disappointed to learn she has to be six years old to go in the pool by herself.  Under six, an adult has to be in the water with her.  I don't own a bathing suit [and at my age and weight I'm not going to purchase one!], so I had to come up with plan B. Since it was raining, the park was out, so we ended up going to Burger King Playland [nicer than McDonald's].  Ellie had fun playing with two sets of twins [not related], a year younger than her.

While she played for a couple of hours, I attempted working on my Eleanor Roosevelt presentation. Experience has taught me I need 10-pages of typed notes to fill a one-hour program, and I'm well beyond that amount, so a lot of eliminating is going to be necessary.  

When we came home Ellie played in the bathtub in her bathing suit, surrounded by toys, as compensation for not being able to go swimming.  Improvising with a five-year-old is easy.  ;-)

Later tonight we will watch a Shirley Temple movie, and maybe even have a tea party with a Shirley Temple porcelain tea set.

Tomorrow will be another day.   I haven't decided yet what the agenda will be.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ellie's Visit

This morning I picked up Ellie - my youngest granddaughter - shortly after 10:00 a.m.  It's her turn to stay for a few days before school starts, when she'll be a kindergartner. Our first activity was a stop at Royal Treat tearoom in Roseville, MI.  It's really not a little girl's tearoom like Tea Party Castle, but we decided to make it work until a group tea party is scheduled at the castle.  The tearoom was packed when we arrived, and since I didn't have a reservation I wasn't sure if we could get in. Fortunately, we did.

~ Ellie's first tearoom visit.  ~

They only have two menu options - Quiche and Chicken Salad.  Neither sounded appealing to Ellie, and she informed me she didn't like tea either. [I have to work on that! ;-)] I ordered lemonade for her, and she found a Chocolate-toffee Scone on the tray looked good to her.  

Lemonade tastes good in a china teacup!

She enjoyed every bite of her Chocolate-toffee Scone, and half of a Strawberry Scone!

I ordered the Chicken Salad.  Ellie liked the strawberries and blueberries on the salad, so I gave them to her.  My tea was Lady Grey Black Tea and I chose a Raspberry thumb-print Scone.  I brought the remaining uneaten scones home for Jerry to enjoy.

Jennifer, the owner, brought a miniature teapot and teacup to the table for Ellie to play with while we were there.

And a 'diamond' necklace for the little princess to wear!  ;-)

While it wasn't as grand an experience as Tea Party Castle would have been, I think she had fun, and I was pleased to give provide her first tearoom experience.

It was a delightful surprise to see Laura Lee at the tearoom.  She's a server at some of the teas I attend, so it was nice that she could enjoy being served for a change.

When we got home, a package was on my front porch.  When I opened it I found a First Ladies book authored by Margaret Truman - President and Bess Truman's daughter.  I can hardly to wait to read it - especially the chapters pertaining to Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Thanks for the book, Louise.  It was an unexpected and nice surprise!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Weekend Happenings

Last Saturday our daughter met us for breakfast, and afterwards we went to her storage unit to get the dress I wore for my Christening from her hope/cedar chest for great-granddaughter Evie to wear on September 10th.  It was like a mini walk down memory lane as Jerry pulled items out of the hope chest.

The Lane oak chest was a high school graduation gift to Lori from us.  Female high school graduates these days have probably never heard of them, but amazingly Lane still makes them.

Jerry climbed to the back corner of the storage unit where the hope chest was located. Miraculously, the 70 year old satin dress is still very white and in great condition.  I'm so grateful my mom saved it.  Evie will make four generations of baby girls who have worn the dress, and you can be sure I'll take lots of pictures on September 10th.

It was packed away [in a J.L. Hudson's box] since granddaughter Tiffany wore it in 1991.  

Below is a recent photo of sweet little Evie, who looks very much like her daddy.

Also in the hope chest were Lori's first pair of baby shoes.  On the sole of one was her birth date and on the other her name.  The shoes - along with the sweet baby who wore them - will soon be 50 years old!  The years pass so swiftly!

And Lori's very first doll, Susie.  She was 26 months old when our son Steve was born.  I bought her Susie, so she could "mother" her while I was mothering my new baby.  

After Sunday worship service, a group of us went downtown Detroit to Comerica Park to a Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers baseball game.  I hadn't been there since 2012 with my mother who loved baseball.  The photo below was from our car as we drove down Woodward Avenue, approaching Comerica Park.

It was a warm 79 degree day.  

Inside the stadium I took a picture of Jerry standing by Detroit Tiger sportscaster, Ernie Harwell.

I loved the topiary of a ball player up to bat.

When we got seated Jerry took a selfie of us.  Our tickets included a value meal which consisted of a Ball Park hot dog, glass of pop, and a bag of potato chips.  It was the first hot dog I've eaten in years.

We left during the 7th inning stretch, but not before "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was sung.  The score was tied 4-4, but unfortunately the final score was Minnesota Twins 6 to Detroit Tigers 4.  In spite of the loss, it was a fun outing.

Once home, I hit the books again for my presentation this coming Sunday at Shore Pointe Assisted Living on the subject of Eleanor Roosevelt. I've never studied her life before, and she's very interesting. She was born during the Gilded Age, and the Roosevelt family had the Knickerbocker pedigree. Eleanor was one of the few brides who didn't have to change her name when she married, since Franklin was her fifth cousin, once removed.

Since I spent $100 on books at Amazon last month [for the Gilded Age presentation] I decided to go to the library for this month's books.  The only drawback to library books is that I can't highlight interesting parts for my presentation.  I don't know how many books have been written about Eleanor Roosevelt, but a quick Google search reveals a lot.

I found lots of Internet photos of Eleanor pertaining to tea.  She lived when tea time was a social ritual.  In the book Franklin and Eleanor, tea was mentioned several times.

So now you know how I spent my weekend.  How did you spend yours?