Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Sale

(This is a Pinterest picture from a British tea room)

Hello Ladies,

It's tea time here, and I have been up early hanging out laundry so I'm ready for cream scones and raspberry tea.  By the way, organic ingredients make much better, if not perfect scones. Your body is worth the extra care and cost of the best ingredients.

When the (waterproof) wicker settees with metal frames appeared in Walmart earlier this year, they were $50 each.  Today they were $19.00 and just two remaining, so I hastened to make a purchase.

I asked for help loading it in my car, and two young employees obliged. I asked them if they would stay by my car while I returned inside the store to get some chords to secure the trunk.

The men assured me the furniture would be safe without having guards, because, "Ma'am, I don't think anyone really wants it bad enough to go to the trouble of getting  it out of the car."

The other man said: "Besides, Ma'am,  anyone who steals it would have to lug it around, and you could spot the person a mile away carrying a stolen wicker settee."

They say "Ma'am" and "Sir" around here a lot, and especially at our Walmarts.

Not being accustomed to carrying large items that have to be tied down, it took me three trips back into the store to finally get the right sized chords:

The 24-inch length anchored the trunk lid well enough. It never moved at all the entire drive home, so I guess I figured out a new skill. We now have a new supply of bungee chords in the trunk. Every size.

While driving home, I laughed out loud at the Walmart employees and their description of someone awkwardly fleeing with the furniture after trying to get it out of the trunk. It was firmly wedged in there and never made a rattle all the way home.

It's always so satisfying to make a dollar stretch and still have something that looks rich, on the lawn. Besides all that I got a free story...although it is kind of what we call a "groaner."  By the way, there were several of the brown settees left, for the low price. 

Although these are all-weather outdoor things, they actually will crack if left in direct ice, snow, and heavy rain.  It is best to have covers for them if left outside in winter. Last year I brought my waterproof table and chairs in the house and used them.  

I always like taking pictures of the view from both sides of the window.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Travel Pictures

(This picture is from Pinterest, for those of you who do not have access to that place, and it illustrates my theme of creating a travel tea for the weary car traveler, and especially the driver. More on that, at the end.)

Today I am sharing some of the photos taken by a budding photographer who was riding in my car on our family reunion trip to The Mt. Hood area and through the small towns. We were avoiding the Portland freeways and driving the old highways and what a pleasure it was.

I also want to tell you who are having trouble shaking the summer coughing that may be due to so much farm dust and grass seed, that we have discovered Ricola Dual Action cherry cough drops (and other flavors in dual action) are very effective, especially at night.  You can have a good sleep without all that coughing. $1.88 at Walmart if you can get them. They are often sold out!

After posting this, I learned the best place to store these cough drops before and after opening the package is in the crisper drawer (for vegetables and fruit) of the refrigerator.  It prevents them getting sticky (when the wax paper wrappers stick) due to the frequent change of temperature in the house. 

I am including another Pinterest picture that I didn't put on the previous post, in keeping with my title of travel tea:

Also, some Pinterest car picnics and tea time pictures.

This isn't very tote-able, below but nice photo.
I hope to post. Little more on the subject of tea time travel, so look for more here or a new post.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pictures of Contentment at Home

(Above picture is from Pinterest)

Hello Everyone,

Something ought to be done about the ignorant adults who  sneeze in your face in a public or private settings.  Even children know better!  I got a summer cough that Is only now subsiding but have been going ahead with my garden and house. Someone walked past me in a grocery store and that was that. There must be something each person who has been sneezed on can do or say to correct this national health threat.  I have been unable to talk much on phone or use Skype because of this cough so it put me quite out of tea with friends for awhile and no making videos til this subsides.

On to better news.

Before I got this cough, a friend came to visit and oh, how I loved just having her and her grown children making the normal noise of a home with talking, laughing, music, footsteps on the wood floor, food preparation, helping with things, fixing things, napping in chairs, reading and talking about everything interesting .  We were so content at home I forgot to take them several places I had planned.

My friend gave me a big bag of herbal tea made from calendula, uva ursi, juniper berry and other things. The picture above is just the way I make a cup of tea from the huge bag of fragrant herbs. By the way the tea makes me feel great.

My own photos here show some progress in the decorative gardens:

When the lawn gets greener I will post a whole picture of the house, after I get the porch swept and cleaned up.  Outdoor work is like having another house to take care of! 

For those of you who do not have access to Pinterest, I have collected these pictures of the way people are using their own yards for "outings" and hospitality, even for just themselves.

You may remember my sheet tents a few years ago, and how the trolls where mocking them to derision. Well it wasn't long before there were similar things all over the web, and Pinterest had plenty of glamorous back yard sheet tents!  This one is from Pinterest but I do plan to make my own sheet tent area again soon!

The following pictures are from Pinterest.

This one is interesting because those waterfall type rain chains.... this,  below, which I have seen in garden shops, are quite expensive. 
If you do a rain chain search, you can see some quite elaborate versions that look like little umbrellas and my how lovely it would be to have one outside the bedroom window or living room window. Some are over $70!  These stacked teacups make a nice waterfall with no drilling or chains or work at all. I used to take all my beat up useless tea cups to donate at thrift shops but now I will keep them and make a stack of my own in the garden.

This is an animated gif from Pinterest but when I went back to the site I could not find the link. Maybe you can find it and watch the rain fall in the cups.

I will tell you one more story. It will never become a novel or a movie but it is free to you, and will give you something nice to think on today.

My friend from England who came to tea when I had a tea room, introduced me to her husband who was a gardener, caterer and worked at other things.

"I got tired of meeting the charmer and the social climber,  or the man who wanted to make a million dollars, and was thrilled with someone who cared about the home and the house. 

"On his days off work, what does he like to do? Mow the lawn, fix things--always looking around for something to repair, improve, paint or re-do.

" On weekends he takes the family on a car trip just for a few hours, somewhere for scenery. 

" Some people don't think that is very interesting but it is very comforting to me knowing he will be there for us and make the house a safe place to live in. For me, it can't get more loving or interesting than this!"

Friday, July 14, 2017

Where She Found Her Prince -- A True Story

Hello Dear Ones,

Today a memory took up the (limited) space in my head while I was doing the yard work and other types of chores, and I thought I had better write it down and share it before it escapes altogether!

I chose the above painting (right click for the details) from because it looks so much like the location of this event: Cowrie Point, Tasmania, which I have written of previously on this blog.  We settled there in 1967 and moved elsewhere around 1970, but it was the most glorious experience living in a holiday "shack" with easy walking access to the beach every day!

In winter it was very bleak, and no neighbors, but in summer all the owners came and occupied their little beach houses whenever they could get away from their work in town.  I always looked forward to this because I met so many interesting people.

One such was a young married woman who was sitting in the sand looking out at the summer sparkles on the waves.  She looked over at me, also settled into the sand but reading a book and said she had not seen me there in previous years. I told her who I was and she said her family was from Smithton and that she had come here many summers as a girl and enjoyed the carefree summer days on the shore.

It would have been better if I, as a 16 year old, had kept a diary and written names and dates, but at that age, I thought a lot of things quite trivial--can you believe? After writing some of these memories I realize how unique they were, especially today.

When this lady, whom I will call Elise, looked over to see the title of the book I held in my lap as I sat near her in the sand, she was eager to tell me HER story!

"I see you are reading about a prince," she said, with laughter deep in her voice, "Well, I married one!  I spent 3 years travelling all over Europe looking for him, and then I found him at the beach right here in Cowrie Point.  

"I noticed the title of your book. That was the sort of title that got me intrigued about trying to find a Prince to marry."

I asked whether she would have settled for a common man, a duke, or maybe anyone who was at least a gentleman. 

"Yes, to all those, but here is what happened," she began. "I could not find a prince in Europe even though I stayed three years.  It was not a pleasant time for me, as I was unable to find the prince, so after all that time I came home.

 When I returned home and spent another summer at my parents holiday home here at Cowrie Point, I met him!  He was a home town boy whose family owned the holiday house right next to ours over on the north side of this beach. He had written to me several times while I was away, and kept in touch with me, and even teased me sometimes about finding a prince. When he learned I was coming home he wrote in his last letter, "Coming home to find your prince?"  I thought he was being awfully smug about my empty-handed adventure, and refused to call him when I got back.

I had no idea he liked me, but he came to the door of our holiday house with flowers. My mother knew it was him (I think they arranged it between the two of them) and asked me to get the door. There he with the happiest smile, and he handed the flowers to my mother so I was a little embarrassed  about having reached out my hand to take the bouquet!

(above: painting by Alexander Averin - Learn more of this wonderful artist and see his paintings for sale on the link!)  I chose this painting to illustrate what it was like that day on the beach, as far as I can remember.  It looks like Cowrie Point looked at the time, around 1968.

Oh how I wish I had captured those moments in writing and photographs but at the time didn't think much of it. It was not eventful nor dramatic, and you know how teenagers are (I was one)--its like their brains are asleep, not alert to the drama of daily life!  There she was gazing out to the ocean talking to me about meeting her prince, while I was looking at a book about a Prince (probably by Barbara Cartland).

Elise continued her story. She began to be cool to her neighbor and thought he was awfully bold to give her mother the bouquet, and wondered what he was all about.  He asked her for an walk on the beach, for old time sake; something they had done in the past years during summers.  As she got to know him again she appreciated how thoughtful he was about her welfare, bringing her a cover when the wind turned cold, offering her food and refreshment, or a ride in his car to town when he needed to do something there. "He persuaded me to come along for the company" she said.

She said he was so persistant in his interest, that she finally took him seriously. "Look," he said, why go off to Europe or somewhere else to find your prince, when I am right here."  

"Did you not think that was awfully arrogant?"  I really wanted to know.
"I knew him well enough that I took it as a laugh" she said, but eventually I learned he had been here at Cowrie Point in the summer hoping I would NOT find a prince and come back."

As she filled in details of how they came to be married, I saw him coming toward her with lunch. "I sent him to get some things," she said. "Who but a real Prince would have walked to the little country store down the road and brought back lunch?"

"Were you disappointed at all, in not coming home with a prince?" I asked her, truly curious.

"I traveled far from home and was gone too long. And no, I met no prince there. Yes, I felt disappointed. But I am happy. And my husband IS a Prince."

This was the first time I had ever heard a commoner called a prince, and I listened to Elise tell how an ordinary person is actually royalty, depending on their character. It took me decades to understand that, and finally when it sunk in, I began to recall this event, and now I write it to you.

painting by Michael Peter Ancher

I picked this painting because after  her husband came down to the beach and they had eaten lunch,  she picked up her blanket and books and went walking with him. (They had no dog.)

Elise eventually told me about her mother's letters while she was away. "He misses you" she told her, referring to the Prince at home. "I thought it was boring," she said, but now we are married a few years I do not feel bored at all."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A True Story

(Photos from Oriana website)

This is a true story about our trip to Australia on the ocean liner, Oriana in December, 1967.

There were 9 of us in our family, and my youngest brother was only 5 years old when we began our journey.

Several other American families went on this cruise, intending to settle in various places in Australia, along with our family who first went to Smithton, Tasmania. On the Oriana, children under a certain age ate in the childrens dining room apart from the older ones.

That was over 45 years ago, and just a few years ago my very grown up brother met a woman in his Australian home town, who had never been married.  When their friendship bloomed into romance, my brother took her to meet our parents.  While visiting, she found out they came on the Oriana. She, too, had travelled with her family from the U.S. on the Oriana.  She had saved the menus and other souvenirs, which were exactly like the ones my mother had saved from the trip.

By comparing memories, this lady found out that she ate in the same childrens dining room as my brother, on the Oriana in 1967.

They were married a few years ago,  and I call it a match made on board. They were both in their late 40's when they met.

I have heard other stories of couples whose paths crossed over the years, finally meeting and marrying. 

More pictures of the Oriana:

Afternoon Tea every day:


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