Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tea for Tuition

My hubby is a school board member for Warren Woods Public Schools.  Once a year they hold a fundraiser dinner to benefit Warren Woods Foundation for Educational Excellence. A week ago, [April 20th] they held their 30th annual dinner, and we attended.  There were lots of silent auction items, but unfortunately I didn't win any.

I was lucky, however, because seated at our table was the attorney for the school district, and his lovely wife, Dona, who I discovered is a tea lover.  Her husband said she's either drinking tea, just finished drinking tea, or is preparing a cup of tea!  Needless to say, we hit it off perfectly.

The Sunday before [April 17] Dona had participated in Mercy High School's 'Tea for Tuition'. Dona graduated from Mercy High School [Farmington Hills, MI], so she volunteered to decorate and host a table. Her photos were so beautiful I asked permission to share them with you.

~ Dona [left] and Me ~

Owning a lady's bust garden sculpture [a gift from her mother-in-law previously], she used it as her centerpiece.  I like that she placed it off-center instead of in the center so it didn't obstruct anyone's view.  Isn't it lovely?  She'll be hosting a Mother's Day brunch at her home and plans to use it again for that.

A nice idea to offer iced tea as well as hot tea.

Isn't Dona's china beautiful?  The pattern is Victorian Violets by Hammersley.  She even has a water pitcher and glasses to match.

Unbeknownst to her beforehand, the printed menu coordinated with her orchid color scheme.

~ The tea served was from Simpson and Vale ~

We not only enjoyed talking about tea throughout our meal, but J.L. Hudson's Department Store as well. Dona remembered eating at Hudson's several times, and told me about two items on the children's menu. 

It was delightful meeting Dona and sharing the evening with her.  I hope we have the opportunity to meet again over tea.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Enjoying Tea With Friends

Yesterday I traveled to a city near my childhood stomping grounds to meet a group of Jr. and Sr. High girlfriends for dinner.  The restaurant varies every month, but this month's location was Macy's [located in a former J.L. Hudson's store] in Southland Mall, Taylor, MI. That particular location was selected because everyone was hungry for a Hudson's Maurice Salad.

Our waitress brought a tableside box of China Mist tea for me to choose from.  I selected Organic Earl Grey, which was very good.  I don't usually drink tea at 5:30 in the afternoon, but fortunately it didn't keep me awake last night.

All eight of us ordered a Maurice Salad, but I ordered a "starter" which is luncheon size accompanied by a cup of soup.  I chose Hudson's popular Canadian Cheese soup.  

I had already begun eating when it occurred to me I hadn't taken a picture - hence my somewhat messy 'cup' [really a bowl] of soup.

Some of the girls finished their meal with a hot fudge ice cream puff, and I wanted one too, but since I'm trying to shed some pounds I resisted temptation.  When we were all finished eating our waitress took our picture.  Only one in our 'circle of friends' was unable to make it. After the passage of almost 51 years since we graduated from high school, we're very happy to still be connected.  The two gals at the far end of the table were in my wedding. Elaine [left] was a bridesmaid, and Sandy [right] was my maid of honor.

And speaking of J.L. Hudson's... I'm off to WBRW TV Station this morning to take them a chocolate mound cakes as a thank you for the filming of the J.L. Hudson's TV show last month.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

And the Next Day...

Sunday, April 24th, I returned to Shorepointe Assisted Living to present the same program about Queen Elizabeth II.  16 ladies attended the monthly tea, and were very receptive to the interesting occurrences and trivia about the Queen.

[Jan and Irma]

They enjoyed seeing the items the Queen carries in her purse.   I highly recommend reading the book, Elizabeth The Queen - The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith.  It's not an authorized biogaphy, because the royal family will not choose an official biographer until after the Queen dies, but the staff at Buckingham Palace lent considerable assistance to the author of this book.

Now I begin preparing for the next presentation in May for St. Clair Shores Adult and Community Education.  The tea will be held at Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and the program will show the ties that bind the lives of J.L. Hudson, Clara Ford and Eleanor Clay Ford together. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Tea Honoring Queen Elizabeth II

Last Saturday, April 23rd, I made my way to Littlefield Presbyterian Church in Dearborn, MI for a Women's Spring Tea - a fundraiser for missions.  Trudy, the Program Coordinator, contacted me several months ago asking for a list of my presentations, and Queen Elizabeth II was agreed upon by the committee.  It was a very fitting theme since the Queen had just celebrated her 90th birthday two days earlier.

It was a beautiful spring day - perfect for a tea party!

The tea was held in the church parlor.  I don't know the attendance count, but it was a sellout. I enjoyed looking at the display table of Royal memorabilia pictured below.

The yummy cake was a door prize, won by a lady from England celebrating her birthday.  It was a chocolate sponge cake from Darren McGrady's book Eating Royally, called Royal Birthday Cake.

I arrived a few minutes early and took a few behind-the-scenes photos, beginning with the tea station.

I loved the colorful savories [tortilla roll-ups] in the center of the sandwich plates.  

~ Savory Scones ~

For those who didn't wear a hat, there were several available for ladies to borrow.

~ Silent auction table ~

I sat at the table below with my girlfriend, Sandy, and her daughter, daughter-in-law, and 4 month old granddaughter.  There were fresh miniature pink roses on each table, and at each place setting was a beautiful linen hankie to take home as a keepsake.  

~ Below is the lovely menu ~

It was Rylyn's first tea party, so a picture was in order.

Trudy, Program Coordinator [below], is Canadian, so the Queen is especially special to her. Her parents bought the family's first television set to watch her coronation.

I spoke when everyone was done partaking of Afternoon Tea.  I don't do Power Point, so I took a poster board filled with photos of the queen and her family.   I particularly like the two photos in the top row, far right.  The black and white photo was taken of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth on their honeymoon in the Broadlands - Mountbatten's Country Estate. They returned on their 60th Wedding Anniversary [2007] and stood in the same location and same pose for a retake.  

I don't usually wear a hat when I speak, but I knew I couldn't talk about the Queen without wearing one - it would almost be disrespectful if I didn't! ;-)

I touched on the Queen's love of horses, but there wasn't time to mention that she had a winning horse called Highclere [named after the Carnarvon stud farm]. Her life-long friend, Lord Henry Porchester [or Porchey as she called him] who later became the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, was her racing manager for more than three decades.  The Queen has made many visits to Highclere Castle. The 8th Earl of Carnarvon [current Earl] is the Queen's godson. That's a fun tidbit for Downton Abbey fans. ;-)

I was honored that two of my blog followers [besides my girlfriend Sandy] were present - Laura Lee and Amy.  I was so grateful they came, but regret I didn't take a photo of them.  

~ Sandy and Me ~

It was a beautiful tea and wonderfully executed.  Thank you ladies of Littlefield Presbyterian Church for inviting me to be your speaker.  I really admire the subject of my presentation and feel Queen Elizabeth II is one of the world's most fascinating ladies.   Long may she live!

*  *  *

Today I'm joining Rose Chintz Cottage for No Place Like Home

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday to Queen Elizabeth II

I'm in complete awe of Queen Elizabeth II after considerable research about her. There will probably never be another Queen to equal or even come close to her. She's a remarkable lady, and worthy of admiration.

In my collection of memorabilia about the Queen is an April 24, 1944 LIFE Magazine commemorating her 18th birthday.  The article stated in normal times [England was engaged in WWII] she would have been the country's first debutante that year. There would have been spring courts at Buckingham Palace, a great ball, and big garden parties, but all that was lost to the 18 year old Princess.

~ Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor ~

Elizabeth plays the piano, sings, draws, dances [she loves the ballet], swims, is a good shot, and loves horseback riding.  She still rides at 90!

Her 'actual' birthday is April 21, while her 'official' birthday will be celebrated on June 11th when the annual Trooping of the Colour parade will take place.

[Internet Photo]

How will she celebrate her actual birthday?  She'll spend most of the day at Windsor Castle, but she and the Duke of Edinburgh will go on a walkabout in Windsor to greet the public.  

At 12:00 noon gun salutes will be held at saluting stations across the U.K. 

In the evening she'll light the first in a chain of about 1,000 beacons across the U.K. and worldwide to mark her birthday.

Below is one of the postage stamps that will be issued to commemorate her 90th birthday - four generations of Windsor Royals.

[Internet Photo]

Since Elizabeth II came to the throne, there have been 12 U.S. Presidents and she has met them all except Lyndon B. Johnson.

When the Queen visited the United States in July 1976 for the Bi-centennial of our Independence, she said in a speech in Philadelphia, "I speak to you as the direct descendant of King George III" noting that "July 4th should be celebrated as much in Britain as in America... in sincere gratitude to the Founding Fathers... for having taught Britain a very valuable lesson.  We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship 'to know the right time, and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep'... We learned to respect the right of others to govern themselves in their own ways..."  As she sailed out of Boston on Britannia she said she was reminded of the good that can flow from a friendship that is mended. 

The Queen enjoys visiting the United States and during her six decades on the throne she's visited America 11 times [both officially as well as personal holidays]. Because of her equine interests she's visited Kentucky multiple times.  She felt so much at home in Kentucky that a courtier said he saw an informality and gaiety in her there that he had never seen in England.

God bless you, Queen Elizabeth II!

[Internet Photo]

Long live the Queen!  Her mother lived four months past her 101st birthday, so another celebration on the Queen's 100th birthday is possible.

Raising my teacup to Her Majesty [her favorite teas are said to be Earl Grey and Darjeeling]. Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said it best, "...You are, simply, the Best of British."


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Subdued Schedule

On April 12th I had surgery to remove a nonmalignant growth from the palm of my right hand, and I've been in a hard cast ever since.  It's my dominant hand, so it has hampered activities significantly.  The cast will come off on Friday and the stitches will be removed, then I can return to my normal lifestyle.  Fortunately, the downtime has given me the opportunity to read the 555 page book about Queen Elizabeth II, necessary for my presentation this Saturday.  Biographies are my favorite kind of books to read.

My hubby took me to an estate sale last Friday where I purchased a teapot trivet, and a purse for my presentation about the Queen.  How can you talk about her and not mention her ever-present handbag? ;-)  One of the biography authors said it was her security blanket.

The $4 teapot trivet came home with me too.

While at the estate sale a lady named Jill, who follows my blog, recognize me and identified herself.   What fun meeting her!  I sure was glad I curled my hair before going even though it was awkward with my left hand. ;-)

On Sunday my daughter-in-law, Samantha, and our two youngest granddaughters, Isabella and Ellie, were in our area attending a bridal shower for one of Sam's cousins. After the shower they stopped by for a visit, and Izzy brought me one of the floral centerpieces, and a handmade get well card that's a keeper.  Love that sweet girl!

She wanted to sign my cast.  I had forgotten from my school days that kids like to do that. 

My thoughtful girlfriend sent me a get well card full of teacups because she said the pink ones reminded her of my pink cast.  Thanks, Lori.  It brought a smile to my face!