Friday, July 31, 2009

Celebrating a BIG Birthday

We are celebrating the hubby GJ's BIG birthday today. I'll post the details in a few days.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do You Know a Fancy Nancy Fan?

All the little girls I know love Fancy Nancy! I learned about her several years ago, the first time I volunteered at the elementary school book fair.

Fancy Nancy is a very active little girl who loves to play dress-up. Maureen over at Maureen's Tea Time blogged about this new book, Fancy Nancy's Tea Parties. I searched for it and found the book, a Colorforms Fancy Nancy Tea Party Dress-Up Game, and a Fancy Nancy Tea Set at Amazon. These are just perfect for your favorite little Fancy Nancy fan!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Very Special Treasured Keepsake

Visit daughter Melissa's blog Peyton's Mamasita to read the details about this very special quilt of Peyton's treasured keepsakes! The little red stiped outfit was "handed down with love" from AJ.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Making Progress

The house renovation and addition in the front are nearing completion. The wood floors will be sanded and finished next week. I am so happy with the way the ceiling in the living room/dining room looks after the beams were partially removed and drywalled over. See photo below. They were support beams and couldn't be completely removed.

I am using AJs computer because mine has been dismantled and everything removed from my office. After next week, we should be able to place furniture in the new rooms. (We hope!!) I look forward to the day when I can put my dining room back together and unpack teapots!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Emilie Barnes Tea Books

I was shopping on Amazon recently and these two books by Emilie Barnes and recently published by Harvest House Publishers popped up as "recommendations" for me.
The Tea Lover's Devotional is a small hardback and is a collection of inspirational stories and devotions with tea time recipes and quotes.
An Invitation to Tea special Celebrations with Treasured Friends, a thin hardback, has lovely paintings by Sandy Lynam Clough may possibly be a re-release of a previous book but with new artwork. I'm not sure. I have a book by the same title by Emilie Barnes and Sandy Clough, but it is packed away and I can't compare the two books at this time.
I enjoy all of Emilie Barnes tea books. Her book If Teacups Could Talk was the first tea-themed book I purchased. It continues to be one of my favorites.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Rose Tea Cottage

A very special thank you to The Duchess of Tea at Rose Tea Cottage. I am honored to accept this special appointment into the Honorary Nobles of the Most Excellent Order of the Blog Empire. The Duchess has a lovely blog. I invite readers here to visit her soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"A Cup of Tea and Crosswords"

I've been making an effort to "boost my brain" via crossword puzzles, Sudoku and Brain Age™ using AJ's Nintendo DS™.

When I saw the title of this paperback book, A Cup of Tea and Crosswords, edited by Will Shortz, I couldn't resist purchasing it.

From the back: "Tea and Crosswords: relaxing and refreshing. Oftentimes it's life's simple gifts that are the most pleasurable: the wisp of steam rising from a freshly brewed cup of tea, or the feeling of satisfaction when you've filled in the final square in the puzzle."

Aaah... now if I could only find time to relax and leisurely sit with a cup of tea to work a crossword.

This week I am up early each day for the painter to arrive at 7:15, driving AJ to and from Camp Invention Day Camp, to soccer practice in the evenings and in my spare time, I'm packing up everything in my office in preparation for the furniture to be removed for the wood floors to be laid.

I just keep reminding myself, there will be an end to the house renovation soon, and it will be wonderful!

Teavana Shopping

There is a new Teavana store in Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati. Daughter Melissa and I couldn't resist a little tea shopping. I love tea gadgets and look forward to using this one. It is the Teavana®"Perfect Teamaker."

The information on the side of the box says it makes 16 oz. of tea, has an automatic shut off valve, a stainless steel filter, is dishwasher safe, fits any cup up to 3.5" in diameter and makes tea to your own personal taste.
The instructions say:
Place your loose leaf tea in the Teamaker. Add heated water. Rest Teamaker on a mug and dispense tea after steeping. Lift Perfect Teamaker for the mug to stop the flow.

Silver Needle, one of my favorite teas, just happened to find its way in my shopping bag, too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Tea — Traveling Friendship Teapot

This blue teapot is being passed around the country during this year. The assignment is simple. The host has a tea using the teapot. The story with photos from the tea is recorded in a journal and the journal is sent back to the organizer of the event. I was honored by Phyllis in MI to be asked to host the teapot for July.
As most of you know, our house is undergoing a major renovation. AJ and I spent the week with daughter Melissa's family to avoid the noise of wood floor installation. I took the teapot with me and we enjoyed a tea party on Tuesday of pre-made foods from a shopping trip to Trader Joe's. Tea friends from across the country had mentioned Trader Joe's numerous times. The Cincinnati Kenwood Trader Joe's is the nearest one to me.
The pretty dishes are the Victorian Chintz from Whittard of Chelsea I brought to Melissa from two trips to London. They looked very nice with the cornflower blue teapot.
Our menu included savories from the frozen food section of Trader Joe's®. Ham & Cheese on Puff Pastry, Mini Crab Cakes, Raspberry & Brie Fillo Rolls and Spanakopita filled with spinach, ricotta and feta cheese. A choice of Cranberry or Cinnamon Chip Scones (from the bread section of TJ) with whipped cream and Mulberry and Blueberry Jam, freshly made by Melissa's neighbor. For dessert, we had Peach and Blueberry Panna Cotta (also from the frozen food section). The tea served was Harney & Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon.
It was a fun day of shopping and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory for Melissa, the boys and me. During tea preparation, Tim, SIL, supervised the boys outside play.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Having Fun With The Boys

AJ and I spent a few days visiting with daughter Melissa and her family in N. KY. The boys played outside riding scooters and bicycles.
We went to see the little guy, PJ, at Taekwondo. He is only 4 years old, and is the smallest in the class. His instructor says he is doing very well.

The boys went to a movie, we went shopping, and we ate at AJ's favorite restaurant, Oriental Wok.

Our visit ended today with pizza and games at Chuck E. Cheese's. The boys are showing off some of their ticket winnings in these photos.

AJ and I enjoyed our visit, and returned home this evening.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Soccer and Scones

AJ had a great week at Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp. The coaches were from various places around England. At the end of the camp on Friday, I mentioned to Coach Gaffer (above) that AJ had been to England three times, I have been six times, and that we love traveling in England. The discussion continued like this:
Coach G: "AJ, what do you do when you are in England?"
AJ: "We drink tea and eat scones."
Coach G: "Really! You know what scones are?!?"
AJ: "Yes, they are best with clotted cream and strawberry jam."
Coach G's mouth has dropped open at this point, speechless for a moment, and obviously wanting an English Scone after being in the USA for several weeks. He turned to me and said: "You have biscuits here, but they just aren't the same as scones!" :-(

A note from Linda:

During this discussion, I was remembering all the fabulous places in Britain we have toured, including castles and more, and all the historic steam engine trains we've traveled on with this little guy over the beautiful countryside. But I couldn't help but be proud of my 10-year-old tea-drinking, scone-eating American soccer boy who knows I love to visit English tearooms where we have lots of tea and scones, and making memories.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

English Gardens

Just remembering English Garden photos from our trip last year....

The tile guy working our our house can't understand the "messy" English Garden his wife (my friend) planted and thoroughly enjoys. Considering his profession of laying tile and wood floors, he works and thinks in patterns and straight lines. She is a messy desk, go with the flow, flexible gal. I pulled up a few of my photos of gardens around Chipping Campden, England last year to show him a few authentic English Gardens so maybe he can see that she really has a plan to her "messy garden."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Camps

It has been a busy summer of attending day camps. So far, Austin (AJ) has attended Basketball Camp, Art & Drama Camp, Archery Camp, and this week, Soccer Camp. Camp Invention is the last scheduled camp. He is having a great summer. Guess who the taxi driver is?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Funnel Cakes and Baseball

Eating funnel cakes and watching baseball on a beautiful Kentucky summer evening. Can't get much better than that!
A friend gave GJ, the hubby, tickets to the Lexington Legends game tonight. The temperature was 80 degrees with very low humidity. It was a good way for the family to enjoy a fun evening together and eat supper of ballpark chow. We couldn't resist having funnel cake for dessert.
FYI for you Georgia gals reading this — the Legends won 2 to 1 over the Rome Braves.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We Are Back!

We enjoyed a fun week at Hilton Head Island with Austin and Kaitlyn. We spent the mornings on the beach and in the evenings we visited all our favorite restaurants. We didn't visit tearooms on this trip, but drank lots of iced tea as the temperature was in the upper 90's every day.
I have made many treks to the beach in my lifetime. However, this was the first time to see a shark. The lifeguards made everyone leave the ocean while it swam around following a school of fish. I first saw it as it swam in front of Glenn and the children. It was a scary sight, bringing back memories of the movie Jaws. Thankfully, no one was injured and the school of fish ,with the shark following, left the area and everyone returned to the water after about 30 minutes. Just FYI, I remained under the umbrella and only went in water to my ankles after that!
We are back home and cleaning up drywall dust from the house renovation. A lot of our furniture has been moved out of the house and the rest was covered, but we still have plenty of dust! The inside painting begins tomorrow.
Back to reality after a nice week away!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy July 4th

Have a great July 4th holiday with friends and family!
I will be "disconnected" for a few days due to the house renovations.
Most of the exterior work is complete, and they have moved inside. All my teapots (and practically everything else in the house) are packed up and stored in plastic totes in the basement for the next few weeks.

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