Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Reflection...

Last Sunday we sang a song in church written by Andraé Crouch, but before we sang it our Worship Leader told us Andraé had passed away a few days earlier on January 8, 2015.

Andraé was an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer and pastor. He was referred to as "the father of modern gospel music" by his contemporaries. In 1957, when he was just 15 years old he wrote "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power".  "My Tribute [To God Be the Glory]" and "Through It All" were written in 1971, and "Soon and Very Soon" was written in 1978.   They're all great songs, but "Through It All" is my favorite, particularly verse three.

In 2004 Andraé received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  It stands as a reminder of how God used a boy who could barely talk [he had a stuttering problem] to bring the message of Christ to millions. Andraé said anybody who passes his star will say, "Who's Andraé Crouch?"  The answer will be "Well, he sang about Jesus Christ."  To God be the glory for Andraé Crouch's life!

"Through It All"  Verse 3:

I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know God could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do.

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

"Be strong and courageous.  Do no be afraid or terrified..., for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6

May God bless your week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Third Blogging Anniversary

Tomorrow, January 24th, marks my official third blogging anniversary, with 774 posts. Some days I wonder if there's anything left to blog about.  

I well remember leaving the blogging class at South Macomb Community College in January 2012 with feelings of excitement and apprehension, but an 86 year old classmate made me realize that I could accomplish blogging.

Many thanks to my 95 followers and readers over the past three years.  Your comments are greatly appreciated, and always a joy to read.  Heartfelt thanks to Joy Breedlove, a reader from Georgia, who has rarely missed a day leaving a comment.  Angela McRae, a fellow-blogger, also from Georgia, is a close second.  I've made so many new friends through blogging.  It astounds me that 276,423 views have been made on my blog from all over the world, and it inspires me to make my blog the best it can be.

While I'm passionate about all things tea, an even greater love is serving Jesus and living a life pleasing to Him.  I initiated 'Sunday Reflection' posts in June, 2013 as a way of sharing my faith once a week.  Right beneath my love for Jesus, is my love for my family, and they are pictured numerous times on my blog.

It's given me great pleasure to look back over the three year's of blog posts to see the topics and subjects I've written about.  I'm sharing some highlights with you today, and will continue them into next week.

Seven posts have had over 2,000 views.  The post with the highest number of views [3,395] was Tea in London Tour, posted on June 28, 2012.  You can see that post with many more photos here. The trip occurred in 2007 and was a tea lover's dream.

~ Ladurée inside of Harrods ~

~ The Orangery Tea Room ~

~ Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle ~

~ Tea at the London Ritz ~

The post with the second highest views [3,205] is tea at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI.  It was posted on 7/1/2013 and can be seen here.

The third highest viewed post [2,986] was my Georgian tier table and silver plated tea accoutrements.  It was posted on 3/1/2012 and can be seen here.

Fourth highest viewed post [2,906] was Last Dinner on the Titanic.  It was posted on 4/3/2012 and can be seen here.

Fifth highest viewed post [2,856] was The Great Gatsby and Tea.  It was posted on 5/30/2013 and can be seen here.

~ Tiffany inspired Gatsby Tea Set ~

Sixth highest viewed post [2,194] was Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, the 60th Anniversary of her Coronation. I have a fascination for British Royals, and have blogged about them several times.  This post was written 6/4/2013 and can be viewed here. If you like the Queen, this post is truly worth seeing.

And last but not least, the seventh highest viewed post [2,055] was the Anne of Green Gables birthday tea I hosted for my daughter.  It was posted on 9/17/2012 and can be viewed here.

Readers left the most comments on the Anne of Green Gables tea [17], so it was definitely a popular post with both views and comments.

The post with the second highest number of comments [16] was "Anything Goes" Quester's Tablescapes by Mah-Nah-Be-Zee Chapter.  It was posted on 4/8, 2014.  There were 59 tablescapes to view, and they can all be seen here.  The winning table was #35, "Pollyanna's Surprise."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ringtons Tea Arrives in the United States

I first heard of Ringtons Tea Company when I received a chest of their teas for a Christmas present in 2008.  

Ringtons was established in Newcastle, England in 1907, and the family who gifted me with the chest of tea are from England, presently living in Michigan.  

Ringtons has been the subject of three of my posts since I began blogging.  I have three pieces of blue and white china from them that I'm anxiously waiting to display in my living room when the wall units are completed.

Imagine my delight when I recently read in the World Tea e-Newsletter, that Ringtons tea is now available in the United States.  North Atlantic Imports in Grand Rapids, MI is the exclusive Eastern US distributor, and  Finest English Tea will service the West Coast.   

Ringtons said in their press release: "We are proud to introduce 12 exceptional teas to the American market..."

Welcome to Michigan and the United States, Ringtons!  We're glad to have you on this side of the pond!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Fundraising Tea

I had the pleasure of visiting the former home of J.L. Hudson, founder of Detroit's legendary J.L. Hudson Department Store, on December 3, 2014.  I blogged about the visit here.

The home is located at 121 East Boston Boulevard, off Woodward Avenue, in Detroit.  The Hudson family sold it to the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit in 1926, and the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary have occupied it since 1998.

During my visit, I committed to participating in a fundraising tea to benefit Little Angels School in Benue, Nigeria.

The tea is scheduled for Sunday, February 15, 2015 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  A minimum suggested donation of $30 per person is requested, which includes seeing a major portion of the first floor of the home; a program about J.L. Hudson, the store's Mezzanine Tea Room and 13th floor dining rooms; and tea and refreshments [scones, sandwiches, and desserts].

To help us know how many to prepare for, reservations are requested by calling: 313-869-2160. Local blog readers, I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shopping in Hartland and Milford, MI

As promised, today's post reveals my purchases from Tyme Well Spent Tea Room, plus two other shops I visited last Thursday.  

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know I collect J.L. Hudson's Department Store memorabilia that pertains to the Mezzanine Tea Room, and 13th floor Dining Rooms, as well as what ladies would have worn when they dined there. 

Imagine my delight when I found two ladies' hats from Hudson's in excellent condition, and Nancy [the owner] said they were half off!   I wish these hats could talk and reveal the places they were worn, and who owned them before me.

Aren't they lovely?

I'll be able to display the hats at a fundraiser tea at the former home of J.L. Hudson on Feb. 17th. Details forthcoming in tomorrow's post.

Not far from Hartland is Milford where a women's clothing store is located that I've heard a lot about. We decided to go there when we left the tea room. We detoured on the way, however, when I spotted a consignment shop that my girlfriend said was really nice. Our Blessings, pictured in the Internet photo below, truly is the nicest consignment shop I've ever been in - very upscale, and no junk.

It was definitely a day for being delighted by items that would come home with me!  I found two pillows [that look new] in blue French toile to match the wallpaper in my new living room makeover for just $12.95 and $9.95.

And here they are in their new home!  Our Blessings is located at 340 W. Summit Street.  If you're ever in Milford it's definitely worth a stop.

I also purchased a multicolored gold scarf to go with a shawl I already had. 

Then it was on to The Clothing Cove at 414 N. Main Street.

The upscale shop sells women's new garments and accessories.  I had nothing in Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year [Marsala] until I went in there.  I don't wear a hat every time I go to tea, but I was looking for one to wear to Meadow Brook Hall's Downton Days Tea on Feb. 17th, and one called my name at Clothing Cove - probably because it was on sale!  ;-)

Can't you see Lady Mary and/or Lady Edith Crawley wearing this?  It's a 1920's style, made to wear in 2015!

I bought a flower to match in good faith that I'd find a dress to pin it on.  A woman's got to be prepared, you know!  ;-)

I also bought this black velvet hat that can be squished without any damage.

Last but not least, I tried on a gorgeous dress in Clothing Cove that resembled a vintage tea gown, but it was pricey and with alteration fees and tax, it was out of my price range.

When I returned home, I went online to Victorian Trading Company's website, and found the identical dress on sale for more than half off.  They describe it as a smoked raspberry colored 'Juliet Dress'.  The rest of the story is... I ordered it!  It was a very good day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tyme Well Spent Tea Room

Last Thursday [1/15] I went to Hartland, MI for Afternoon Tea at Tyme Well Spent with a friend. The tea room, located in the former Gannon house, was built in 1894.  Owner, Nancy Martin, opened the tea room in 2005, and they'll soon be celebrating their 10th anniversary. 

I visited the tea room in 2006 and regrettably allowed too much time to lapse before returning.  I wasn't blogging in 2006, so I'm incorporating photos from that visit along with last Thursday's visit in this post.

~ The house was painted yellow and white on this recent visit. ~

~ 2006 side view of the house. ~

Thursday we were seated in the room pictured below which leads to the gift shop and entrance. 

~ It also leads to the parlor where I sat during my 2006 visit. ~

~ Parlor ~

Nancy, the owner, served us in 2006 as well as last Thursday, but I didn't take a photo this time because she was very busy.

In 2006 I ordered the 'lunch combo' which was Soup, Chicken Salad, and Pumpkin Bread.

Below is the table my girlfriend and I sat at last Thursday which was next to a window.

The tea selections are extensive.  I ordered Wild Cherry black tea, and my girlfriend ordered White Pear - also a black tea, and a favorite at the tea room.  We shared our teas, and the White Pear was very good. 

This visit I got the full Afternoon Tea.  It doesn't come with a cup of soup, but because it was a cold day we got it.  It was a delicious Tomato Pepper Soup.

Next came the tea sandwiches garnished with Fresh Fruit [Cantaloupe] - Cucumber on White Bread Rounds; Sweet Pineapple Spread on Raisin Bread; Egg Salad on Wheat Bread; an Orange Mini-Muffin with Strawberry Jam and a slice of Swiss Cheese; and a dish of Chicken Salad, which Nancy said is usually served as a sandwich.  

A choice of soup or salad comes with the 'luncheon' combo, but we included the salad in our Afternoon Tea.  With the added extras it was actually a 'deluxe' Afternoon Tea that's not regularly on the menu. The full Afternoon Tea is $24 and is all inclusive. It's by reservation only and prepaid.  The lunch combo is $11.95.

Next came a Raspberry Scone with Lemon Curd and Devonshire Cream

Last but not least were the desserts:  Pumpkin Bread, Walnut Cake, Brownie, Orange Cookie, Raspberry Square, Lemon Square, and Apple Nut Square [center].  I ate the Walnut Cake, but had everything else boxed to take home after consuming SO much scrumptious food! 

The upstairs rooms of the house are filled with vintage hats, jewelry, clothing and other accessories, and dishware for sale.  Tomorrow's post I'll share what treasures I purchased.