Last time I talked about my very first introductions to tea in the beautiful, colonial-style house my dad built for us in Vermont.
We left that house when I was almost five and moved near Rochester, NY. Since we were downsizing to a two-bedroom trailer my mom packed away much of what we owned, or gave things away. We lived in the trailer for three years while my dad attended Bible school. I don't remember any tea parties but I do remember special birthdays around the kitchen table with plenty of decorations and inviting the little old lady from next door over to join us. (I am the child in navy blue in the photo below.)
After the trailer we moved to what seemed like a giant old house in small-town America in north-central Pennsylvania. Out came the teacups! In fact, you can see them in the very center of the photo below. And, for those of you that remember him, that's Uncle Bill in the photo!!!
This was the house where tea, tea parties, dress up, dolls, friends, and childhood all happened for me. Here I am in the dining room just before the guests arrived for a birthday party for my sister, Christina. Mom and I had made tissue paper flower headbands for all the little girls and we had a little skill saw in the basement that we had cut out wooden cats with and then painted them for each of the girls as a favor. Early training in the giving of parties. (Note we used a picnic table for a dining room table!!!)
This little nook in the kitchen is where I remember tea the most. Sometimes in the middle of the afternoon mom would make tea and pull the teacups down from that shelf. And it was here that the infamous incident with the pewter teapot and the microwave happened. (Everyone and everything did survive.)
Another memory that sticks fast in my mind from these years comes from our weekly food shopping. We had a very strict budget and I manned the calculator. There were certain "must-haves" each week and there were things we could do without. I remember thinking how much more money we would have if we just didn't have to buy that can of Folgers coffee grounds. Coffee was expensive! I remember trying to convince mom we could skip that. But, good for mom, she didn't give in on that one. It took me many years to understand why.
And now, back to the present. Here are some photos from the last month:
One of my favorite lunches or snacks is a piece of gf toast covered in smashed avocado and topped with a bit of fermented vegetables. Oh yum! This is so good!!!
One morning I came downstairs to find the kids having their own tea party. This makes me so happy!
I was sick one weekend this past month and managed to convince the kids to bring me food in bed (Michael was gone). Such a treat! ....except for the sickness.
Can't help but ooh and aah at the china when I go into Home Goods:
I spent an evening sipping tea with a friend and discussing books and knitting/crocheting.
Fortunately, just before I got sick I just happened to make a big pot of chicken broth. Boy did that taste good!!! In fact, I think some people even call broth "tea" as in "beef tea" or "chicken tea". It does the trick!
I loved this quote from a book I am reading:
One morning I met up with a friend at a new-to-me coffee/dessert bar in town. I had a dairy free latte which was really delicious!
And drooled over this beautiful display!
I helped a friend host a bridal shower at her house. Look how pretty she had the table set up!
Sometimes I take myself out to lunch at my own house. I love having this little round table with two chairs at the far end of my kitchen. It feels like an escape!
I've been helping in the Introduction to German class at homeschool group and several times the teacher has brought in German treats. Here we are enjoying German Christmas goodies complete with a "smoke house" which burns incense/smoke.
Chocolate is not on the list right now but I was given two truffles and I couldn't let them be eaten by someone else. Such a treat.
Gluten free Irish Soda bread for St. Patrick's Day.
We enjoyed our Irish meal on Sunday after church. SO delicious!
And it was so warm on Monday that the kids convinced me we should take our dinner to Eagle Creek for a picnic. The wind was cold but otherwise it was lovely.
Another afternoon snack. We all eat mid-afternoon to keep our blood sugar up and it is usually much needed with our schedule!
I love this vintage teapot. Its story belongs to a Scotland post....
I don't think I've shown you this teapot clock I got for Christmas? It's in my "studio" along with the cross stitch that Rachel made for me years ago.
And here's my little tea party companion. She loves to have tea together. Long may that last!!!!
And today is the first day of Spring, which means our traditional First Day of Spring Tea Party. We had a lovely time but I'll have to save the pictures for the next Tea Trolley.
February was my month to sew flowers and I managed to get 3.5 dozen finished!
And a couple of those dozen off to market!!!
Last Friday I met up with a friend and she was wearing one of her recent projects -- this gorgeous shawl! She used the pattern for Citron Grand. There is a smaller, free version called Citron.
My plaid knitting pouch makes me very happy. Yellow is the color I love at this time of year.
I created this pouch for a friend using a piece of clothing that was sentimental to her. I loved how it came out! The Burberry label from the original garment is stitched to the backside of the case.
I finally blocked Laura's latest Pickle's Plain Vest:
And got some buttons sewn on. Just in time for our vest-wearing weather to appear!
And I put this afternoon on the calendar for sewing new cushions for the couch. I'm so pleased with them -- they were just what I wanted. Now I need to keep my eye out for light-colored blankets so I can change out my black and brown granny square afghans.
As for books:
The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear was an all-round good novel on World War I. I've read Winspear before, in the Maisie Dobbs mystery novels, which I love. This was a change from a mystery to a regular novel, but Winspear told a good story and added in beautiful descriptions of food! I also appreciate that her novels are fairly clean.
Right Ho, Jeeves - The Original Classic Edition by P. G. Wodehouse. Can you believe this is the very first Wodehouse I've ever read? It's been on my list for years! A recent illness gave me some added time and I enjoyed this light-hearted, silly, English classic.
You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition: Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child by Cynthia Tobias was a quick read about dealing with strong-willed children. Part of me wonders if all of us, deep down, are strong-willed. This would be a fun debate to have with someone. Anyway, back to the book. This is another one of those "I could have just listened to my husband and skipped the book" (which is basically the description of any self-help book I read!! ha ha ha). The gist of this book is that when it comes to dealing with your strong-willed child it all has to do with how strong your underlying relationship with that child is, or isn't.