Mar 30, 2008

A Blessed Woman

This week's Hospital-i-Tea topic is Decor-A-Tea. I must admit, I have not incorporated a great many tea themed decorating ideas in my home. I do, however, have a few special tea sets which I display all the time, though the memory attached to the tea sets are more dear to me than the actual items - but they do possess a bit of charm and beauty on their own merit.

The above vintage tea set is Continental Kilns Green Arbor pattern. My parents gave it to me for my 30th birthday. I can still remember the day, sitting in the beautiful old home I grew up in, my parents so proud of their gift. When I opened the beautifully wrapped package I fell more in love with the delicate, age cracked pot, creamer and sugar bowl than I had when I first visited it. You see, my parents had taken me to a local antique market on an earlier visit with them and they had practically dragged me to see the set as soon as we walked through the doors. They pointed out each beautiful feature and the markings on the bottom. I might have considered purchasing it on the spot but I actually thought my mother must have been interested in buying it for herself. Then my birthday came and the lovely gift was presented to me, creating a treasured life memory.

This tea set is not old, it is new. My mother gave it to me for Christmas two years ago. I love the sweet violets that decorate the creamy porcelain. More, I love the memory I will always have of the Christmas my mother chose it for me. It lives in my grandmother's china cabinet, entwining three generations of women. The first of the three providing a home for the gift. The second of the three, the generous giver of a lovely gift. The third, the blessed receiver.

I found the silver tea spoons at an antique store near my home. In the handle of each spoon, a semi-precious stone is encased in a fine silver cage. They are quite lovely and create a sense of age and interest to a table set for tea.

This beautiful set sits on my glass top living room coffee table. My daughter brought it home from a mission trip to England and Wales when she was seventeen. It is Royal Albert Moss Rose. If you look carefully through the glass under the coffee table, you can see the white wooden and glass bird cage used at my daughters wedding ten years after she purchased the tea set. The tea set and the bird cage are a constant reminder of my daughter and her exemplary life and faith.

Writing this Sunday afternoon I have once again been reminded what a blessed woman I am!

An Inspiring Blog To Look Into

A Mom's Life: Announcing...Miracle Monday

I happened upon a wonderful blog page. A Mom's Life is the blog of a young woman and mother named Beth who happens to have multiple sclerosis. She is hosting interesting and inspiring Monday blog sessions about miracles in the lives of bloggers. She characterizes a miracle simply as something that happens that has to be an act of God. She invites anyone who wishes to write about a miracle they have experienced or are aware of in someone elses life, linking back to her site. She has a Mr Linky on her posting. It sounds like interesting and inspiring reading to me. I thought some of you might enjoy checking out A Mom's Life and her ongoing project Miracle Monday's.

An Award For Me? Thanks!

Thank you to CeeKay of Thinkin' of Home for the "You Make My Day" award. CeeKay quite often makes my day! She's a wonderful friend of 28 years. Thanks, C! I am passing the same award on to a new blog contact, Constance of "Slim Pickins From My Brain"! Thanks, Constance for your sweet note.

Mar 28, 2008

The Tea Cup

The Tea Cup
The rising sun flickered through the bare branches of the trees.
A few birds perched on the branches.
She sat there looking, pondering, wondering.
Her fingers, wrapped around the cinnamon stick, stirring her tea.
She thought about her life, she yearned to be free,
As she raised to her lips,
The cup of tea.
(author unknown)

In 1972 my husband and I traveled to Moscow as guides. We had a wonderful trip and brought home some unique and beautiful things, including these tea cups. The orange set is a child's place setting. In Russia children drink tea at the table along with the adults, thus the child's tea cup. Even though the folk painted cups are more traditional, my favorite is the blue cup pictured above.

Painting: A Life Passion

Years ago I attended a fund raising auction for the private school I worked for. I fell in love with a hand painted mirror frame painted with folk art village scenes. Fortunately, I did not win the bid. Fortunately, because I decided on the spot that I could, and would, paint one for myself. I went to an art supply store the very next day and purchased brushes, paints, and an unfinished frame. This venture was the start of one of my life passions. The first item I painted was the egg pictured and the second was the mirror frame. Since then I have painted and sold quite a few of these framed mirrors. I also paint furniture and wall murals - and anything else with a surface to paint! (I've improved since the egg!)

Mar 26, 2008

Hope of Things To Come!

My husband and I went to my parents home in Tennessee for Easter, where Spring is in it's full glory! The week we spent in the place I was born was sweet reprieve from the cold, snowy weather we still have in Michigan. In fact, our home town was blanketed with eight more inches of fresh snow while we were away. My little granddaughters wore snowsuits to church on Easter Sunday along with their pretty little sleeveless dresses and Easter bonnets! For those of you who also suffer from warm weather deprivation, I am including some Spring photographs taken at my parents home - a hope of things to come in our own home towns!

Mar 15, 2008


I was tagged by CeeKay/Thinkin' of Home for a meme. Here are the rules: share 8 facts about yourself that your readers don’t know about you. Then you tag 8 other bloggers to keep it going. Here goes:

1. I've known CeeKay for 28 years.

2. I was crowned Miss Hiawatha at Hiawatha Camp in 1967 - unfortunately, my only claim to fame!

3. I met President George Bush Sr. in 1989 at the White House - went in the Oval Office. Junior was on the grounds as well with his family - it was Easter.

4. I met my husband when I was 15, got engaged when I was 16, and got married when I was 17 - between my junior and senior year of high school! We will be married 38 years in June. And no, in spite of our success I did not allow my own daughter to do the same!

5. My husband and I led a group of students on a tour of the Soviet Union in 1972, the first year these kinds of visits were allowed - fabulous.

6. I am a beach freak - love anything to do with beach...I cherish my shell collection of many years and many memories.

7. We have vacationed each year at the same place in Florida, the same weeks of the summer, for the last 30 years.

8. Pink is my signature color!

A deceptively easy dessert recipe for your Easter brunch!

I have had this recipe since I was a young bride. It never fails to make a beautiful impression, though it's a snap to make. These little cakes look beautiful presented on a vintage glass plate or a pedestal cake plate. Try them for Easter...your family and guests will love them...promise!

Cheesecake Cupcakes:
3, 8 ounce packages cream cheese (sometimes I use 2 fat free and one regular)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 box regular or low fat vanilla wafers
24 foil cupcake liners
berries for topping
fruit pie glaze or jelly for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first four ingredients together (preferably using a mixer) until smooth and creamy. It just takes about 5 minutes. Place 24 foil cupcake liners in muffin pans. I usually lightly spray the liners with Pam too. Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each liner, flat side down (though the universe will go on if the round side ends up down!). Place the cream cheese filling in each liner over the wafer. I use a level 1/3 measuring cup full for each cupcake and it is just about perfect. There should be just enough to make 24 cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. The centers will depress a little as they cool.

Our favorite is strawberry. I slice fresh berries in half or in several slices depending on their size, or you can use one whole smallish berry for each cupcake. I stir them up in a bowl with enough strawberry pie glaze to coat them, then spoon a tablespoon or so to the top of each cupcake. You could also use raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, anything you like. If you can't find pie glaze for the berry you choose to use, just use jelly, jam, or preserves. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Everyone will love these and think you did something wonderful, even though the whole process will take about 45 minutes...I promise!

You can also use mini muffin pans and liners - they look beautiful on pretty dessert trays with mixed toppings for parties or showers. Bake them about 18- 20 minutes. You will end up with about 48 mini cupcakes.

Mar 14, 2008

Now really, have you ever seen more beautiful babies?

This gorgeous little creature is my new grandbaby, sweet Isabelle Kathleen, named in part for me. Her mother has nicknamed her "Mini Mimi" because this one actually looks like me! Isabelle, who loves to sleep and eat and would be happy to rest in the arms of someone who loves her forever, is the direct opposite of her sister.

The unstoppable Sydney, who is almost four, never eats, never sleeps, never stops talking and/or giggling, and lives to dance, twirl, spin, climb, chase cats, paint rocks, smell flowers, and hug trees! She is a true free spirited wild child - and absolutely delightful!

Mar 10, 2008

Will Spring EVER come to Michigan???

Mid March?

An Easter Morning Treat

Hot Cross Buns:
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
about 5 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1 egg
raisins, if desired
1 additional egg for brushing on rolls before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1½ cups flour. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter until very warm. Dissolve yeast in warm milk mixture until bubbly. Beat milk into dry ingredients for 2 minutes. Beat in 1 egg and 1 cup remaining flour. Stir in raisins and enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease top. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 18 equal pieces. Cover; let stand 15 minutes. Grease 9x13 inch pan. Shape dough pieces into balls; place in prepared pan. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Cut a cross into each roll, brush with beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Fill in the cross in each bun with White Vanilla Glaze. Makes 18 delicious, yeasty Hot Cross Buns.

White Vanilla Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1-2 tablespoons warm milk or cream

Stir everything together with a whisk. If icing is too thick add more milk or a drop of hot water. If icing is too thin add a tablespoon more powdered sugar.

Mar 9, 2008

Who's Mimi?

I was one of those weird mothers who grieved when school started in the fall. I loved being a mother and having my children at home with me. It took a long time and a lot of work to have two kids and I enjoyed every minute of being a mom. However, children do grow up. My daughter Julie married a great guy in 2001. I could barely restrain myself as I waited for them to be ready to start their own family. My fondest desire came true in 2004 when Julie gave us our first granddaughter, Sydney! Precious little Isabelle arrived in 2007. I loved being a mom, but I was born to be a grandmother! Little girls and frilly dresses, Easter bonnets, dollies...what a dream come true! So who's Mimi? Me! I am Mimi to my gorgeous little granddaughters! My son Jacob is getting married in 2009 - maybe some little boys for Mimi?