Tea on a Rainy Tuesday

Torrential downpours from down south have made their way here. We have had unseasonably nice weather, and it is still in the 60's, but POURING!!!!!

So, that will keep me inside today, scrambling to finish the ornaments for the upcoming Julieanna Holiday Teacup Exchange and Dessert Tea.

Am starting the morning with some loose leaf mint tea from Frontier, mixed with assorted dried mint from my gardens.

I chose a vintage mismatched teacup and saucer, that rarely leave the cabinet. I don't remember if they are thrift store finds, but this marriage seems to work- since they are both of vintage blue design.

I love the scalloped rim of the cup. The maker's mark on the underside is barely distinguishable -from Japan, most likely. 

Here are the stacked pieces of the Julieanna ornaments that I am working on:

They WILL be done and delivered on Thursday!!!!

While waiting for paint to dry on the ornaments, I threw together these two little Christmas goodies:
Above is a canning jar "snow globe"
Two tiny trees, some batting, and a tiny Red Rose Tea English Wade snowman, with silver glitter for snow.

Below is a tiny Xmas mouse peeking out from under a tree- set in a vintage zinc canning jar lid.

                                               She is really cute- and needed a new home...


Please drop by every Tuesday, rainy or not, for tea. Visit Patty and Kim for a list of other tea fanciers..

Food For Thought

There are so many things to be thankful for this holiday season.

Despite all the bad news every time you turn on the television, or open a newspaper, I'm sure, if we thought hard, we could all come up with at least ONE thing that we are so thankful for...................

The other day, my daughter and I were leaving a parking lot in Harrisonburg, after a once in a very great while food shopping trip to Kroger. We spent an unusually obscene amount of money (in my mind), as is the case, whenever I go to that upscale supermarket- despite the coupons and buying generic items. We can always find things there, that the lower end or local supermarkets don't carry.

As we approached the traffic light, car full, - and a glaringly new car at that (only the 2nd new car in my whole life- and in 12 years), there on the center divider, a few cars ahead of us, sat a disheveled man. He had a section of cardboard box, with a hastily written message- something to the effect of - "...former Master Sgt, served in Viet Nam, out of work, ill...etc"
I looked at my daughter, and she at me- we should really give him something, when the light changes. All I had was a ten- which I had to put in the gas tank, in order to get home! She had $3- so quickly pulled it out of her wallet. 

As the light changed, I rolled down the window and offered the 3 dollar bills. He seemed surprised, and literally struggled to his feet - a man probably not much older than I, but looking like life had been rough. There was a long line of impatient drivers behind me, hoping to make it thru' the light, so I didn't really stop to chat. 
His thanks and the flicker of light in his eyes was enough. I found myself apologizing (!), saying I wish it could have been more. In a way, I did wish it could have been more, but despite that new car, the groceries, and an almost empty tank of gas, my funds were almost depleted, being near the end of the month. It was my daughter's last $3 before payday.
I am not writing this to give my daughter and I a pat on the back for giving someone three lousy dollars- but just to say that we all can find something in our lives to be thankful for, and we should help whenever we can, no matter how little we feel it is....

There but for the Grace of God, could be any one of us, sitting by the side of the road, depending on the kindness of strangers.. And you never know, the next person you help(and this should NOT be the reason for you to help!), might really be an angel, checking on the state of kindness and goodwill within the human race!

This short video is a tear jerker - Change For A Dollar- my brother posted it on FB a few days after Katie and I saw that man sitting on the center divider. It is something to watch and share - you never know how many people one small kindness will help.

To everyone in the bloggy community - have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tea on Tuesday.......

......will be short today!
Only 33 more days 'til Christmas, and only 16 days 'til Julieanna's 2nd Annual Holiday Teacup Exchange. I am making the little commemorative ornaments for the exchange- and am in a hurry to finish!! Will post a pic when they are complete!

I had my roobois tea for the morning, and now am enjoying a glass of homemade grape juice - from the end of summer harvest of our one huge  vine of vintage Concord grapes.

I keeping with the tea theme - here's a quick peek at Julieanna's tea tasting this past Saturday.
The construction of the tea room is coming long - the walls are painted, the window frames are a work in progress. The room is useable, and hopefully, come spring, the tea room will be ready, and the customers will be a steady flow.

Julie and her granddaughter at the gift wrapping station

I met 2 friends, Judy and Bobbie, at the tea tasting. The pic I took of them caught them mid bite into a delicious cookie - so, I better not show that!!!
We had a lovely time, and did a little brainstorming about my upcoming quilt retreat.
(where- BTW- Pat Sloan will be teaching a workshop, and local rug hooker Donna Bleam will be doing a show and tell)
Well, back to the ornaments!!!!!!

Be sure to stop by and visit Kim and Patty for a list of other tea lovers

Saying Goodbye........

                                Parting is such sweet sorrow.

This post could be entitled "Ode to a Toyota Sienna",or "Homage to My Van" because today is the end of an era, the day we part ways, my van and I.

I have driven this "sand" colored van for almost 12 years, and 277,657 miles.

Altho' I knew (and hoped) this relationship would not last forever- the fact that today is the day, came as a big surprise.
My husband called me from work yesterday and asked me to drive in the rain to Elkton- he wanted to show me something. At first, I asked him if what he wanted to show me was alive (!), then he finally spilled the beans.

He was at a car dealer, not unusual, since he works for DMV, but he had been chatting with a salesman, and decided NOW was the time to get me that new car.


He had picked out a nice little 2012 Ford Escape- not what I would have chosen, but nice. I really wanted a pickup, but we have 2 already(one classic, one farm use), so............

One of my requirements was a new vehicle had to be able to get out of its own way, and those big semis on the highway. Another was there had to be alot of headroom - I hate that claustrophobic feeling I get when my hair touches the ceiling, or if I bump my head getting in a car!!LOL Plus, the Toyota had a radio control and volume button on the steering wheel - that, to me, was heaven!!! The new Escape has that AND Sirius radio!!! Boy, I'm livin' now!!!

D/H and I did a test "race" from a traffic light, and I hate to admit it, my van met its match- the Escape left it behind! The Toyota is fast, but the Escape was faster.
I felt a bit guilty, almost anthropomorphically thinking the van was sighing in sadness at  the reality to come.

                                                                Ridiculous, I know.........

While cleaning out the van last night, I reminisced, with each piece of long forgotten junk, er, uh, memorabilia, uncovered!

I think back to when I first drove  "the van" off the lot, drove it home down Rte 7, only to have a large truck christen it, by showering rocks at my windshield and pitting the hood of my brand new van!!!!On the first DAY!!!! GEEZ!!!

As with all things new, there was no eating or drinking in the new vehicle! Yeah, right......Having two kids, that did not last long!

Next "accident" involved my daughter checking out the cigarette lighter, and burning 2 holes in the front seat! I was reminded of that incident, while removing the front seat cover ( a towel for the dog to sit on!) and cleaning out the glove compartment last night, to discover the cigarette lighter, hidden  there by me,  years ago!! Also found a pair of severely outdated, huge, rose colored sunglasses!!! eBay, anyone???

This van morphed thru' different stages of life- from a carpool van, to soccer mom van. Carrying kids, snacks, equipment, to travel soccer games in all kinds of weather.Hmm, flashback memory-we'd be driving to a travel soccer Turkey Bowl next week!!!!

We can't forget moving band equipment from gig to gig!!! See aging band stickers below - "I'd Rather Die" and "Orna Annon"

A long ago school field trip to Monticello came to mind- with 5 or 6 Catholic school kids, who chose my van as the "cool" van to travel in! I recall that long drive home, with my daughter and her "crush" in the far back seat, writing of their undying (yet very short lived), "love" in the steam of the rear window.......

My kids learned to drive in this van - if they could drive this, they could drive anything!!

Soon, this van was transformed into a rolling tack box- going to the barn, hunts, and horse shows all over the state, in all kinds of weather. Being stuck in wet, soggy fields,sunk up to the muffler, while waiting for the hunt to return; sitting with the heater on for hours, in the snow, at an NCEL tournament; having specially made( by D/H) PVC pipe saddle racks in the back of the van (seats removed), muddy boots, smelly sweat soaked horse blankets- eating in the van was no longer an issue!! The bumpers (and sometimes the hood) made perfect mounting blocks. The van made a perfect hangout for the kids, between classes or post hunt, to eat, chat, change clothes, radio blaring.

If this wasn't racking up enough mileage, there was my petsitting business. The van carried me faithfully to every stop, in all kinds of weather, also transporting animals to the vet, the groomer, the airport. Sometimes up to twenty stops a day, we traveled everywhere within a 30 mile (sometimes more) radius.The van was involved in mostly happy stories, but there were a few sad. One little Corgi happily survived bloat as my van rushed him to the vet. Another elderly golden died in my van ( from complications of a recent surgery)as did an extremely elderly cat, years later, while we sped to the vet. Another dog was transported to the airport, many animals found new homes with us, traveling in that van.

When we moved to the country, the van was stuffed to the gills with plants, bird cages, ferrets, rabbits, and dogs, and whatever else could not or should not go in the U-Haul..

This sturdy and now aging vehicle became an avid yard saler and hauler of antiques. It learned how to go to the co-op, with back seats now permanently removed, to be filled with 50 lb sacks of feed, grain, and pine shavings. How many square bales of hay can be crammed into a seatless Toyota Sienna?- 12!- if you leave the rear hatch open!!

Two snow storms ago, an ice bump, apparently "stole" 2 hub caps on the right side of the van. I guess they are called wheel covers nowadays!!! Call me shallow, but that right side of the van was a source of embarrassment to me. I was always careful how I parked, when meeting new people- always careful to park the trashy, wheel cover-less side of the van AWAY from view!!! First impressions, and all that!!!

The car or the van- it went by either name, could fly across a sodden hay field to catch up to a runaway dog (Sunny), and even "learned" how to successfully herd a neighbor's wayward cattle who had escaped into that same field.

Our suburban/ urban vehicle metapmorphised right along with us, to a total country machine, tackling backwoods rutted roads and crossing creeks!

The only complaint I had, in all those 12 years, was that no matter how many times we replaced the brakes, with expensive ones or not, they always squealed. There was no sneaking up on anyone, with that ear splitting squeal happening, no matter how gently you tried to step on the brakes!

And now, I feel somewhat guilty, knowing that after years of tender loving care, "the van" is about to be turned over, traded in, and will end up at a car auction - to go who knows where.

I hope whoever gets it, will take enough care of it, to keep it running for a few more years. It is a testament to Toyota and my husband's TLC that it has lasted this long. Maybe it will even experience the laughter of children again, ensconced within its walls, and hugged safely with its seatbelts.They won't have to worry about spilling drinks or dropping french fries- this van is already  broken in!

I would like to think that is the case. In a way, I hope I never see "the van" again, because it would make me sad to know its new life was any less........

                        Thanks for the memories, old Toyota!!!!!

                                              Sunny, sitting in "his" seat one last time!!

Tea on Tuesday

A drizzly day, a cup of Elephant  fruits rouges tea from France, and a cup with a message to cheer me out of the dreary day doldrums....!

                                         For lack of a theme, or subject to write about, enjoy selected scenes from the previous week.........................

                                                    Santa's reindeer being delivered....


                                                                   Chimney Rock

                                 Yesterday, the moon was still awake at 9am...

Please join us for tea every Tuesday - drop by Kim and Patty for a list of other tea lovers!!

****And, don't forget to read all about next year's Quilters Retreat- also on FB***

Hindsight is, well, YOU know - 20/20!!!!

I find counsel and wisdom given to me eons ago (and largely unheeded) now coming out of my mouth to my daughter (probably also going unheeded! LOL) And, so it goes, she will speak the same wise words, with a few of her own, down the road, to another pair of closed ears......

Why is it, that the wisdom of our elders is like the whispering wind - blowing by, swirling around us, but never caught?

Maybe, because in our youth, we must make our own mistakes?

Did the wisdom of the elders become wisdom thru' their own errors, wrong paths taken, and wrong doors opened?


The people we become is a result of those choices we make, right or wrong.What door we open, what room we enter.......

We make our decisions based on what we think is right for us at the time, take the path we want, not necessarily the one suggested by those who have been there before. We may stumble in the woods, get a few skinned knees or hearts, but hopefully, find our way out onto the right path.

Life is a hard lesson to be learned. We may have the manual in front of us- but, tell the truth, how many of us have attempted to assemble that bicycle, without reading the instructions first??? Aaaah, don't need instructions, I can figure this out on my own!!!!

Well, we all create our own path, guidelines are certainly warranted - but sometimes, if you blunder along, it all works out in the end. Might have saved a few years of stumbling, by listening to wisdom, but, then, you would not have learned yourself.

Those who strike out on their own, and have the strength to follow their own path, will come out of the woods, with their own words of wisdom for the next generation of closed ears.

This deep(?!) and hopefully sensible rambling came about from being up WAY too early, and also from a post on Judy's blog about gratitude.

Vintage Finds!!

As I sit here nursing a sore back and a stiff neck- I am admiring the causes for my aches and pains!!

Three "new" pieces of furniture were scored over the weekend from a favorite local source .

The first one was the killer, so to speak!!

Altho' I can haul a bale of hay, and push around an obstinate horse, or rein in an 80 lb dog, loading a solid wood court bench into my van almost did  me in!! Guess I need to start exercising!!! Sigh........

This beauty was salvaged from the local courthouse during renovation. The folks I bought it from took very good care of it, and kept it nicely polished. I thought there would be no problem going to pick this and another piece up by myself in my van. Well, only this one piece would fit, and it was a tad bit unwieldy squeezing it in!! The owner helped, a woman about my size - she must be in better shape than I am - I can't believe she is not hurting!!!

              *Note to self - let the husband do all the heavy lifting from now on...............

Right now, the bench is sitting next to the wood stove, and I'm going to make a cushion for it. I love it!!!
And, since my husband spends quite a bit of time in the courthouse (on the right side of the law!!LOL), I thought this would be perfect addition!

The second piece is a great old hand made table, complete with square nails. The owners rescued it from an old building on their property, and did little more than tighten it up and rub it with linseed oil- and it is beautiful!!!!

The third treasure is the piece de resistance!

Not old, but hand crafted by a local furniture maker named Seeley(?)- kind of an equestrian sideboard- too good a deal to pass up - I LOVE IT!!!

Now, if I can just get D/H to finally paint the walls before Xmas, I'll be all set!!!

If you will excuse me, Advil, hot tea, and soft pillows are calling my name.............

Tea on Tuesday

I am enjoying a mug (locally made Bay Pottery-sorry, not a teacup) of my Finnish Inkivaari tee- ginger . I even figured out how to keep the T-Sac from slipping into the tall mug - a good ol' clothespin!!!!! Very classy!!!

***Before I forget, let me remind you, if you haven't already been there- to go to my blog post about the upcoming quilt retreat! Still a work in progress, but we'd love to have you in 2012!!!****

I missed Julieanna's last tea class, but here is a quick lesson in photos.

It was about shapes and types of cups and handles.

Here are 2 of the hand outs- maybe you will recognize some of your own teacup styles!

Handle shapes:

Cup shapes

How many of the above do you have in your collection??????

Please drop by for tea every Tuesday - visit Patty and Kim for a list of other tea lovers!!

Build It and They Will Come...................

( 12-1-11   ~ Please go to this link for the FB Event Page, to keep abreast of updates.)

Going with the premise of Kevin Costner's movie, Field  of Dreams, if I build it- will you come???

Not too long ago, I posted about my son's annual campout  here on our 45+ acres. A bloggy friend, Barb, threw out the idea of my having a quilt retreat here. I'm sure she was only kidding, but the idea got stuck in my head, and, as she said, I ran with it!!! Or, at least, I am TRYING to run with it!!

                                                     Strolling along, and mulling it over.............

My first reaction was, people would have to sleep in tents, because I don't have the space or guest rooms in the house to accommodate alot of people. Barb, like me, is beyond the age of sleeping in a tent- so she suggested RV's would be the way to go!! Never would have thought of that - thanks, Barb!!!

That works for me - RV's, campers, tents, whatever.

                         Anyway, here is a rough (very rough) draft of activities -still to be confirmed:

                                       Mountain Meadows 
                                     Quilters Retreat 

*Arrive late on a Thursday to park and set up. Quilters will  BYO sewing machine and food.

                                              Friday and Saturday activities:

*Quilting (of course) - in a large heated /with electricity party tent or in the hall of the church at the head of my driveway (both options to be further investigated) The tent would allow unlimited all hours sewing for insomniacs!

*Quilt block exchange for the retreat-that could be the sewing project, or anything else you want to sew.

*Trunk show /speaker- I have a local (and wonderful) someone in mind ( am checking on her availability and fees)

*Demo ?- maybe the GO, if we have a camper with one- Hint, hint!.Fees waived, if you do a demo!! Only one demo!

*Gift Basket Drawing - filled with local merchants' goodies

*Trip to downtown Harrisonburg (optional) to tour the Va Quilt Museum, maybe a stop at a fabric store or two

*After the Museum, Quilters Mystery tea at Julieanna's in Broadway, and a must stop in the famous Fulks Run Grocery/Turner Ham

*Campers Show and Tell and Show and Sell (for those who might  have Etsy  or brick and mortar shops)

*Local bluegrass band-depending on availability- evening entertainment around the campfire(maybe?)

*Sundaywrap it up and pack it up for the return trip home.

Depending on the amount of participants, I may be able to convince my daughter to make one of her country breakfasts on Sunday!

For those who don't have RV's or campers- local accommodations include: a lovely 100 year old refurbished cabin, at the base of the forest, by a river- totally zen - sleeps 2 couples (or 4 very good friends!) $100 night(no smoking,children, or pets). It's only 5 miles from my house.I love my property and "my" river, but this land makes me green with envy!!!LOL See below:

You can sit on a bench by the waterfall and daydream..........

The next closest would be the Quality Inn in New Market - attached is the Johnny Appleseed restaurant. There are also 2 B &B's in New Market. New Market is historic, right off the highway I-81 and 20 miles from my house.

Below is one of the B&B's, right next to the historic Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge

****Quilters' Retreat fees would be only enough to cover the church and /or tent rental, tea at Julieanna's, music, and the speaker. Fees will be paid ahead of time thru Paypal, to reserve your spot.( Partially refundable if you are unable to make the trip, giving reasonable notice TBD. I originally thought fully refundable - but then that could leave me stuck with paying for the rentals and speaker!!)

If you are RV'less - and should  decide to stay elsewhere, you are responsible for making your own reservations. Those costs are separate from the Retreat fee.

Date to be decided- either late spring, or September/early October- I'm leaning toward October. I have several local people who are already planning to come!!!!!

So, feedback, feedback, feedback!!!!
What do you think???? Suggestions welcomed!!!

If I "build" it, will you come????


                 Yesterday started off as a peaceful and sunny day.

I checked on the horses a few times during the day, which is the usual routine.

At 2 pm, I went out to let John out back. He is so trustworthy, I just let him loose behind the house to graze. He just hangs out.

When I got to the barn, I noticed Mycon, the old man, was gazing, rigid and intent, toward the tree line outside the paddock fence.
I thought maybe the farmer was wandering around out there, so I walked the length of the fence line looking something.

                                        There was nothing there.

A I walked back toward the house, before letting John out, I heard a crashing in the underbrush, and turned around to see something big moving about.

A deer maybe? 

I saw it at the same time Mycon did- and he FREAKED!!! I had to run back to the barn, to open the gate and put him back in with his buddies, Mud was flying -he could not get thru' the gate fast enough!!!

Let the snorting begin - John, the leader of the herd, was snorting and stomping and rounding up his little band to keep them away from this dangerous PIG !!!!

I know from past experience, that John is not too fond of hogs. We tried riding past a hog farm several years ago - and when he got a whiff of them, he did an abrupt about face and zoomed all the way home!!!

Now, to have not one, but 3 huge porkers breaking thru' the trees and rooting around outside HIS paddock, well, this was more than he could stand!!!

                                                        Danger, danger, Will Robinson!!!!

I ran back in the house, to call around and find out who belonged to these pigs. Then I drove around to knock on doors. The folks who owned them were not home- of course...........!

The pigs eventually high tailed it back thru' the woods into the field from whence they came.

                A bit camera shy - all I could capture was the retreat!!!

But, later that night, when darkness fell, the horses were still absolutely sure that porcine danger still lurked in them thar'  woods!!!!!!!!!

My daughter tried to get the horses in for dinner, and John would have nothing to do with going in the barn! He was on  high alert, meaning no one else was allowed to go in and eat. I went out to see if I could calm them, but to no avail. The usually placid John kept spinning around in his stall, charging the stall guard, in his attempts to get back outside.

So, the only one who eventually got dinner, was the old guy, Mycon. Katie managed to get him inside, keeping him calm enough to eat.

I walked the perimeter in the dark,  to see if I could spot or hear any wayward hogs in the woods, but didn't see any. I am sure the horses still smelled them, and after seeing them earlier, just didn't believe they were gone. Now, they can connect the smell to those big pink "monsters"!!  Scary things become much scarier in the black of night.
We left the outside lights on at the barn, for whatever good that did!

At 6am this morning, I peered out into the darkness, to see if I could see or hear anything. All was quiet down by the barn. No Yoshi alarms going off!!!

     This morning there was pea soup thick fog but no hams in sight!!!! 

       This is looking out toward the barn at 6am- the lights barely visible.

Daylight is finally here, and all appears calm at the barn. I will go out and scope the area, before I bring the dogs out, and before I feed the horses.

Hopefully, the pigs' adventures are over, and they are securely back where they belong!!

Never a dull moment.........................

Tea on Tuesday

Sorry to be late to tea!!!
The farrier came today, and today was the day little Yoshi had his first real shoe trimming.

Now, donkeys can be stubborn, and surprisingly, it went far better than I would have expected!

There were a few episodes of nervous diarrhea (the donkey, not me!!), but with a box of mini nilla wafers being fed to him constantly - we got thru' it rather smoothly!!

Donkeys are smarter than we give them credit for - and I swear Yoshi does comprehend English- he knew exactly when it was his turn!!!

Anyway, we are done, tea is on- see my Finnish tea bag - delicious- but I have no idea what it is!

                                                                Can anyone translate?

I am using my lidded St. George English bone china mug, on top of my little stack of quilted mug rugs .

Since Halloween was last night, I thought I would share one of the photos my daughter took during "dead time" at a friend's spirit filled house.

The stories from this house are too numerous to tell here - but look at the orb by the door - they were out in force last night. These were not spots on the camera lens- Katie saw them with her own eyes.This one photo had the clearest shot.The photo is a bit blurry because I enlarged it.
  Katie used my camera last night, and this morning, the battery was dead, and the lens cover is not working right - coincidence?
I think not!!!!!!!!!!

Have a cup of tea with our other tea lovers - visit Kim for a list of other participating blogs - feel free to drop by every Tuesday!