Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Visit to the Kentucky State Capitol

AJ is studying Kentucky history in the 4th grade and requested a visit to Frankfort, our state capital. We had a free day on Saturday and drove to Frankfort. The photo above is the front entrance of the Capitol. The building is a neoclassical Beaux Arts style built 1905 - 1910. The exterior is made of limestone.
Abraham Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, KY in 1809. This statue stands in the center of the rotunda. The rotunda floor is made of several kinds of marble.
This is spectacular view across the interior of the building. The 36 one piece columns are made of granite.
AJ appears to be ready to enter the governor's office!
The beautiful view looking out the front door of the Capitol.
More to come including a lunch at a Frankfort tea room!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snack Plates and Cups

I passed up these six oval Sandwich Glass snack plate and cup sets last week at the Boone Square Mini Mall (a local flea market/antique mall) because they are very small. They are 8 1/4 X 6 3/4 inch ovals with a groove for the cup. That does not a lot of space for a snack, in my opinion. I kept thinking about these because: (1) they were only marked $12 for the 12 piece set (2) I already have 2 of these sets I picked up in a Tennessee antique shop so these would make 8 and (3) I have 22 round matching salad plates. I kept wondering how I could use them with afternoon tea when it finally hit me! I can use them for a first course of a cup of soup with fancy crackers on the side. So now I have eight matching Sandwich Glass snack sets. Great logic, I thought!

Friday, August 29, 2008

What About Tea?

This little 1976 paperback tea book was sitting on a stack of used books in a local antique mall. I snapped it up then looked inside the front cover. It is inscribed as a Christmas gift in 1981 "to Jackie from Virgina." I can't help but wonder who those ladies are/were and when and where they enjoyed tea together, but I am sure they did.
What About Tea? by Donna Forsman covers the history of tea, where tea is grown, the types of tea buying, storing and making tea, recipes with and for tea and a lot more. Actually, I was surprised at how "current" the tea information is in this book.
I have over 200 books in my tea library but had never seen this one. The best part is it was just one dollar!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Celebrating Our 38th Wedding Anniversary

GJ and I were married on August 28, 1970 in a small wedding at Berea Baptist Church in Berea, KY. My mother, who made many of my clothes over the years, made my dress and veil. The dress was the popular empire-waist style of 1970. We were college students who thought we knew it all! *LOL* It has been 38 years of great times, wonderful opportunities, a few of life's ups and downs and many cups of tea! We look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries together in the future!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tearoom Journaling

Angela over at Tea With Friends blogged today about the adorable teapot tin where she keeps business cards from tearoom visits. I have mentioned before about the journals I have for keeping photos, menus, and personal comments from teas I host and tearoom visits. This is a page out of one of those journals (actually a 3 ring binder) showing how I displayed the menu, business card and a couple of photos from a visit to Miss Daisy's Tea Room in Owensboro, KY.
Angela finds the best tea stuff in Georgia antique malls. If we were in the same antique mall, we would probably knock each other down diving after the same tea collectibles!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family Photos

It is our tradition in the summer (while the princess visits) to get the grandchildren together with G-ma and G-pa for family photos. This year we had outdoor photos made by our daughter's high school friends Elisabeth and Shawn Skeese on their farm. It was an extremely hot and humid Kentucky day, so we were very happy we all didn't look totally melted. The children were very hesitant to put their feet in the water because they could see the little fish swimming around. We didn't get the feet-kicking and splashing pose we were trying for, but this one with their reflections in the water was a definite keeper!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Miniature Teapot Shelf

I found this little metal folding shelf with mini teapots at a local antique mall. It was in the original package and, obviously, is not an antique, but, in my opinion, it is a cute tea decoration. It was just another one of those "I gotta have it" tea things!

Just a Cup of Tea

I took this photo of a cup of tea at a roadside tearoom in England. The photo shows the typical way tea is served in a small English tearoom. And, yes there is a teabag in that little metal teapot. Since most of the world's tea is grown in India, I am going to assume this is a cup of Indian tea.
The memory of this photo and the serenity of sharing this particular tea experience with my fellow Tea In London Tour companions in March 2007, has kept my temper *somewhat* under control this week as we experienced the loss of our Windstream server. The server was down for seven days. It was as if our email and Internet did not exist. We could not check email remotely from work or anywhere. In my opinion, GJ,the hubby, and I talked with every Windstream computer technician in India about our problem. We were told it would be 6 to 8 hours then 24 hours then 24 more hours then they finally admitted they had no idea when it would be back! I would have tried to have a little tea discussion with one of these guys, but I'm sure he would not have had a readily available scripted answer on the subject. Because, in my opinion, a script is what they used -- except last night when one fellow hung up on GJ. Can we help it if we don't understand heavily accented Indian English and had to ask for them to repeat several times?? It was so bad that the publisher of our local newspaper ran a column on it!
We seem to be partially back on for now, so if I disappear again from the blog world, just bear with me, because it will mean Windstream has lost us again. If that happens, I will move to a different Internet server but I will return.
I'm off to drink another cup of tea. I think I'll have a cup of Charleston Tea Plantation tea this time around. I promise I'll be in a better mood after a few more cups of tea.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Princess and the Tea Party

Princess KJ gave herself a new name. She is now Princess Camellia, named for Camellia sinsensis, the tea plant. She really knows how to work this tea-loving Grandma, doesn't she?!?
I purchased the beautiful dress for her at our local Cracker Barrel in the Halloween costumes. Yes, they have Halloween stuff out already!
On her last day in Kentucky, the princess and I had a luncheon tea party. She invited her frog, Camellia, and Cotton Candy, her pink and white Webkinz cat. The princess picked the menu on our shopping trip to WalMart. We were making memories and that was more important than spending time on a complicated menu, in my opinion! We had a grand time chatting over several cups of tea, enjoying peanut butter finger sandwiches and way too many sweets!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Teapot Olympic Pin

I saw this USA Olympic pin on a post over at Angela's Tea with Friends. She found her pin on Ebay. I did a quick search and found this one. It was not expensive and I just had to have it! OK, I am not a pin collector. I admit it was the teapot on the pin that made me do it! Thanks for the tip Angela!

Note added later: Congratulations to Michael Phelps on all the gold!

A "Camp-Out" Before School Starts

AJ and KJ asked G-pa to put up the tent in the yard for a "camp out." We live on a street surrounded by woods and a golf course. This summer our neighborhood has hosted more than our fair share of critters including skunks, raccoons and 'possums. Armed with sleeping bags, a few toys and flashlights they set out for the night until...
a BEAR scratched on the side of the tent!
No, it wasn't a real bear. It was just an unexpected "Grandma Bear." But, the camp-out quickly ended and everyone came into the house for a good night of sleep, fortunately for G-pa who had to go to work in the morning

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Family Lunch at Hall's on the River

On Monday we met G-pa at one of our favorite restaurants, Hall's on the River. Hall's is located on the Kentucky River near Ft. Boonesborough (as in Daniel Boone). Hall's is well-known for their Fried Banana Peppers and Hall's Beer Cheese shown in the photo above. We almost gobbled them all down before I remembered to take the photo!
KJ and AJ enjoy sitting on the deck overlooking the creek. We kept our eyes peeled for great white sharks, flamingos, monkeys and gators. Fortunately there were none of those near the river and were only on the kid's menu in the form of fun drinks.

If you are driving on I-75 and are looking for a "local Kentucky place" for a meal, Hall's on the River is a few miles off the Boonesborough exit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Going Green with Tea at the Charleston Tea Plantation

Island Green, a green tea was made for the first time at the Charleston Tea Plantation just 2 weeks before our visit. The other loose leaf teas blended by William Barclay Hall and sold in the Tea Shoppe are Charleston Breakfast, Governor Gray, Plantation Peach and Rockville Raspberry.

Every where I go folks are using reusable "green" shopping/tote bags. I have been searching for the "green" shopping bag that is just right for me. Well, I found it! If you purchase $15 in merchandise at the Charleston Tea Plantation Tea Shoppe, you receive a free bag. Let's just say I made a significant purchase and received more than one of these bags.
Now, I suppose this makes me an official "going green" tea-loving grandma!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tea Shopping at the Plantation

This cute frog is Camellia the "tea frog" from the Charleston Tea Plantation gift shop and was the perfect souvenir for a life-time frog collector 7 year old girl!
These two girls have shared a bed every night since Camellia joined the family. This Grandma thinks both granddaughter and Camellia are adorable.
The travel mug and white American Classic Tea logo mug magically appeared in my shopping basket along with a men's size XXL tee shirt or perhaps I should say a tea shirt in this case.
I picked up these lotions "gently infused with tea from America's only tea garden."
We "tasted" several cups of refreshing American Classic Iced Tea and purchased several more tea items. It was a nice gift shop with a variety of pretty teapots, tea-related books, mugs, cups, decorative items, Charleston Tea Plantation and Bigelow teas, gift baskets postcards and much more available.

I'll be returning with a final post about this very special tea experience....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Charleston Tea Plantation Tour

The Charleston Tea Plantation "Green Giant" cuts the top new tea leaves which are transported by truck into the "factory.'
We continued our tour of the plantation into the factory. You can see the part of the process in these photos. This is a photo of the Withering Process where 12% of the moisture is removed from the leaves.
I got a little sidetracked from photo taking in the factory and became a "Nurse" to take care of a bee sting and dry up tears for 7 year old KJ. Fortunately, ice and unlimited cups of refreshing American Classic iced tea were available for us to sample in the air conditioned gift shop! It is amazing how tea and a little TLC from Grandma can help in most situations.
As we walked through the viewing gallery of the factory, we watched the process of the Charleston Tea Plantation tea making through large windows. We were fortunate to be able to see the entire process of withering, resting, oxidation, drying, sorting and bulk packaging. The tea processing is explained on three large TV screens via the DVD shown in the photo above. The 20 minute DVD is available in the gift shop and, in my opinion, is an excellent, easy-to-understand explanation of the growing, harvesting and production of tea, the history of tea, the types of tea and more.

Did we shop in the gift shop? You bet we did! It is a very nice gift shop for tea lovers and grandchildren of tea lovers! *wink*
I'll show a few photos of our fun purchases in the next post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Charleston Tea Plantation Visit, part 2

This photo of AJ and KJ under the Live Oak Trees with hanging Spanish Moss at the Charleston Tea Plantation shows a bit of the beauty of the deep south USA. Standing in the shade under these trees gives the visitor a bit of respite from the hot temperatures and high humidity needed for success of tea growth here.
AJ and GJ are on the trolley touring the back tea fields on the plantation. We were surprised to see the name of the trolley is Man O' War and to learn that it was purchased from the city of Lexington, KY which is just a few miles north of our Kentucky home.
A worker mowing around a field of tea plants to help maintain weed control.
Bob, our tour guide and trolley driver, invited us to pick up hoes and weed this new field of camellia sinensis on the back of the plantation. Needless to say, everyone on the trolley declined and stayed on to complete the tour.

This piece of equipment is known as the "Green Giant" and is used at the Charleston Tea Plantation for picking or harvesting the tea. Two workers were going through the fields hand pulling weeds prior to the Green Giant harvesting process. I must admit seeing the Green Giant and learning about the Charleston Tea Plantation growing and harvesting process gave me a much better appreciation for the fine hand picking of tea harvesting in other tea-producing countries.

After the tour of the fields, we visited the processing plant and gift shop. Come back tomorrow to see more photos....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Charleston Tea Plantation Visit

The reason for our "detour" through Charleston on the way to the beach at Hilton Head was so that we, well ok, I admit it was so that I could visit the Charleston Tea Plantation, America's Only Tea Garden. It is a 127 acres of tea plants (camellia sinensis) located at Wadmalaw Island in the South Carolina Lowcountry about 20 miles south of Charleston.
Our visit began with a trolley tour through the tea fields you can see in the photos above. The middle two photos are of the mature plants. The bottom photo is of a field of young plants. The top photo needs no explanation. You can tell from my smile that I was thoroughly enjoying the tea experience while tolerating the high temperatures and humidity.
Watch for more photos and posts to come in the next few days....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

An Overnight Visit to Charleston, SC

On the way to Hilton Head, we took a slight detour to Charleston, SC for an overnight before continuing our journey the next morning. My aunt and uncle lived in Mt.Pleasant, SC for years. Our family visited Charleston many times so I wanted the children to experience a bit of Charleston. We stayed overnight at the historic Francis Marion Hotel and stopped by the Battery area for a few photos before departing for the Charleston Tea Plantation the next morning.

Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations