Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Delight of Hospitality

(Painting by a Canadian artist)

Today I am sharing a Tea fellowship because it is our Thursday Ladies Class. I am being the household Maid and trying to be efficient in getting everything ready.

I was sorely tempted to go miles away to Hobby Lobby and get some table things I have had my eye on, but the time and distance would have taken away from my preparations, so I am using things I have had for a couple of decades. I get tired of them,  but you won't, since you do not see them as often.

As usual I wanted to go out and get fancy napkins but as time was pressing, decided to get out an old ink pad and  stamp some every day napkins:

There are only four people coming today.

The name of the dinnerware is Apple Blossom by Acropal, similar in quality to Corelle.

The apple blossom teacup found in Goodwill years ago fits in quite well.

It is still dark and dreary around these parts so candles are lit.  I don't think anyone pays attention to the candles in daylight rule anymore. We just love the elegance of it all. Maybe that rule came about a century ago to prevent using up the candles, when they were an important light source on the evenings.  Today, women really like them to be lit during teatime.  My candles are  led-lights called Luminesse. There is another brand of those at Hobby Lobby but I can't recall the name.  They have a flickering flame, battery operated.

This is the tea table I keep in the front room by the window, 

and here is a display in the dining room.  I found The tea set in Goodwill, and it's dated 1992.

Mr. S. sent me to the grocery store to get us a plant or some flowers yesterday, but when I got there, the floral department was swarming with men, young, old, blue collar, white collar, and inbetween. It was too crowded to find even a slim space in which to shop, so I left to do my other errands at the post office, dollar store, the garden center. 

When I returned to the floral department at the grocery store, there was a bigger crowd of men, so I thought I would go look at the greeting cards of the season, but I couldn't get there, either. There was a row of men carefully reading the verses inside the cards, trying to pick out just the right one.  

Back to the floral department, and I decided the seed shelf was more accessible so I bought some flower seeds.  By the way Dollar Tree sells seeds at five packets for a dollar. They are great for party favors and to include in gifts or cards.

Finally with my purchases I stood in a long line behind men carrying large bouquets.  I was behind a Brit, although I have no idea what in the world he was doing in this part of the world, and he was quite conversational with everyone around. He too had an impressive collection of bouquets in his arms, which he said were for his wife, mother in law and daughter. He said his daughter was only 12.  He was getting a lot of attention with his charming Masterpiece Theatre accent, which encouraged him to keep talking.

All the lines were long, and it was early in the afternoon, so I stayed behind the Brit. Since all the lines were long, I needed to stay in the one with interesting company, and Mr. Brit was very sociable. 

Mr. Brit was so chatty, he asked the cashier, an eager young man wearing a bow tie and suspenders, if he was taking his girl anywhere that evening. The young man said he was going to a few activities after work with someone he had known 3 years.

Mr. Brit said, "So when are you going to get down on one knee and ask the big question?"  Mr. cashier replied he was thinking about it. I would be too reticent to ask a personal question like that, although it didn't seem to embarrass Mr. Cashier,  and he happily volunteered more information about his girlfriend and the interests they both shared. 

I asked Mr. Cashier if he knew who that Brit was, but he shrugged and said he had never seen him before.

Because I didn't bring home a lily plant, (I didn't want to wait for the crowd to clear in the floral department) Mr. S. found a pot of something that was peeking through the soil, on his office window sill and said we could wait and see what that one produced. He was more amused by my grocery store observations. 

One thing for certain, in spite of all the conflict you read about between men and women, that country store was not full of men-going-their-own-way or men running from women. The impression was they were headed out of the store as fast as possible to deliver those flowers to some very cherished ladies, who might also be showing their flowers off on their social media, and telling what great husbands they have. Many of the men there at the floral department looked like very hard workers, wearing  their overalls and heavy working boots, and what a contrast it was to see them holding those bouquets and looking at the pretty pink and red cards.

Photos of men buying cards. This was sparse compared to what I encountered in our local store, but this is generally what it was like.


Laura Jeanne said...

Everything looks so pretty! Thank you for sharing.

Courtney Downs said...

I love seeing pictures of your home- how you decorate and set the table. I especially love your Pompon trimmed curtains! Did you make them? I sewed Pompon trim on white curtains for my daughters' bedroom quite a few years ago. I just find that look to be so charming! Your blog posts are always so lovely!

Dawn said...

Your tea table is so sweet and inviting. It makes me yearn for a set of pretty floral dishes. I have practical white dishes so maybe I will look for a floral tablecloth or placemats and napkins.

I love your grocery store story of all the men shopping for Valentines for their sweethearts.

Lydia said...

Courtney, yes, I did make those and I would like everything trimmed in pompon trim. It's quite costly per yard but I also made a fireplace mantel and a cloth for a side table,mtoo match. I will show it on my blog sometime!

Tammy said...

Lovely, and I smiled at the pics of men searching for just the right card.
Can you tell me about the pink charger plates? They are lovely!

Lydia said...

I should have taken a picture today of the totally empty card display at the grocery store. Every single card was gone.

Lydia said...

Tammy, he plastic charger plats are from Michaels and available in other colors. You can search on thei site to see more about them. In the store they are usually about $2.00 each but less with coupons on on sale.

Janet W. said...

I so love your table setting, especially in front of that big window and the scene of your spacious frontyard.
Your dishes are gorgeous with all the accessories, candles and even the artistic napkins. The roses low on the table are really a nice touch too.

Unknown said...

How clever to stamp the paper napkins to make them look prettier. I love your pictures of the gentlemen searching the cards too. And your table setting is so pretty...I hope you and your guests had a lovely time together.

Unknown said...

So beautiful!!! Those ladies are blessed to come sit there at your tea table, and sit I am about 7,000 miles away, I will enjoy the pictures, and keep setting tea for the children and I and our friends that come. I love the British accent, and we meet people from all over the world here in Patagonia. When I read stories to the children, I have been practicing the British accent in conversations, and some phrases we can get it pretty accurate. Its interesting hearing the children use it while playing and also my husband has also began using it at times!