Saturday, January 21, 2017

Today's Tea Time


I have stopped for a cup of tea and gathered my thoughts that were flying around in my mind. It occurred to me that we can create substitutes for some things. Some of my friends who sew, like textiles and clothing designs, are disappointed in the Inaugural ball gowns. As we do not have royalty here, the inauguration was one of the posh things we looked forward to seeing, and so we were let down by our expectations.

In place of this we decided to dress up have our own events at home, or sketch and paint a portrayal of the gowns and tea time.  

This is the kind of thing we did on the old homesteads. I cannot tell you the amount of playing, writing and drawing we engrossed ourselves in that made the heavy dark winters seem light.  From catalogs we clipped and pasted room scenes into those dull scrapbooks made of brown paper that were the only things we could get at the time. We made paper dolls and learned to trace around them on colored paper for fancy dresses. In extreme poverty ourselves, we could have paper dolls with unlimited wardrobes, houses and furnishings. It absorbed our mimds so much that we forgot our circumstances.  Boys did similar things by cutting out pictures of cars, pastimg them on cardboard, creating stands for them, then playing with them on hand-drawn roads a d countrysides.

We dressed up in whatever we could find that seemed elegant, wrapping fabrics, scarves and old lace around us for our parties. Entertainment was a cinch when we provided our own speeches. It was not difficult to create a tea party, because in those days the cups and saucers were all made of fine china, even the ones used every day. I tell people I lived before the beaker or mug era 😌 because I remember almost to the day when the large mugs and coffee cups came in and the porcelain teacups went out.

Re-creating events to our own liking is creating our own memories and photographic moments for our personal histories.

The three pictures below depict tea on the Royal Scotsman, a luxury train:

Trains were a favorite playtime subject when we were children. We remember setting up the chairs and tables to resemble the i side of a train, made especially realistic when setting a row of chairs by the window and asking the passenger if he wanted a window seat. 

Below: we are in the middle of a rain and windstorm here. That tea on the train seems more appealing to me than going somewhere else!

Getting out yellow tea cups makes it feel more cheerful but it is quite a contrast to have hot tea in a comfortable place by a window looking at the fierce weather!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Dress

Here are a few pictures of what appeared to be a wool dress with a bolero jacket, in pale blue.

A side view of the jacket and gloves, and what is called "messy up-do" on the hair style blogs, which withstood the rain and cruel weather.
Lovely long gloves and matching shoes were both worn in a slightly lighter shade of blue than the dress and jacket.
A closer look at the jacket:

Below: Reviewing the troops that were in Colonial uniform.

Below: without the jacket: dress has long sleeves and darts which stitched from the high neckline.
The above photo was from the Inauguration Afternoon Tea which was preceded by a prayer with these words from First Timothy; instructions for Christians to pray for all those in government:

1Ti 2:1  I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2  for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.

Prayer is more effective than trying to fix everything yourself, especially when it concerns rulers and magistrstes. There is a tendency to be anxious about politics, but Christ gave us the perfect solution in those two verses from First Timothy.

Stan and I watched the Inauguration in the morning and appreciated the respect it gave to his fellow-man and God. A transcript will be included here.

I hope to share a picture of what I wore and had for tea, later.

An opportunity to have a closer look the dress (I like fabric, sewing, patterns) in this photo of Melania pausing for the prayer at the Inauguration lunch.

I will post Michelle Obama in her dress, as well, as it was very modest and I appreciate that it was longer.

Here is a transcript of the speech:
Donald J. Trump was sworn in this morning as the 45th president of the United States.  the full transcript from the speech, which Trump claims to have written himself:
"Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world, thank you. We the citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together we will determine the course of America, and the world, for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships, but we will get the job done. Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you.
"Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning, because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people. For too long, a small group in our nation's capitol has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left, and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs, and while they celebrated in our nation's capitol, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
"That all changed starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today, and everyone watching, all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration, and this, the United States of America, is your country.
"What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.
"At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens a different reality exists. Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
"We are one nation, and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We've defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuddered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world, but that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future.
"We are assembled here today issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power, from this day forward, a new vision will govern our land, from this day forward, it's going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, ontaxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before.We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders.
"We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels, and railways, all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules -- buy American, and hire American.
"We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example, we will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite  the civilized world against radical islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth. At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
The Bible  tells us, how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.
"We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the ies industries and technologies of tomorrow. New national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions. It's time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.
"And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator. So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words. You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny, and your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
"Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud when it. We will make America safe again, and yes, together we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you."

I also want to show the dress and matching coat ensemble Michelle wore at the inauguration. The length was nice.

I tried to see what the back of the bolero jacket looked like and this was the only photo I could find. You can see the over-stitched seam on the collar, and almost see the hem of the jacket.
It is good that our forefathers created a system where an administration changes and gives other people a chance to serve. I had heard that the current president will not be taking the usual salary, but have not confirmed that. Whatever the case is, please remember that besides taking a stand fkr what is right, the most powerful thing you can do is offer prayers for these people.

As for the inaugural ballgowns, they were not remarkable or distinct, imo. It is an unhappy fact that I did not get my designs ready early enough to be considered 😉

Yes, it was a Tea, after all, that the President attended, and here you see Vice President Mike Pence with a tea cup 😊

Officials and staff respectfully bow their heads during prayer at the Inaugural Tea:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Royal Tea

(Picture from Pinterest)

When there is a European royal wedding, it has lately been the custom for some American enthusiasts to have a fancy tea at home with friends who dress up for the occasion.  That may be the case for the inauguration. It would be nice if there were inauguration tea cups available.

One thing I enjoyed when homeschooling was creating events at home. Here you see photographs of tea cups from the Empress Hotel in British Columbia. It is really a thrill to have Tea at the Empress at home.  

Tea menus for Empress Hotel and Buchart Gardens are available online, as well as scone recipes. Teacups from the Empress hotel are found in thrift shops, ebay and etsy. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Most Important News...

 Hello Ladies, Since what is officially called "the news" is in the news these days, I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on the subject. Perhaps this reflects your thoughts, too!

During the last ice-storm, many churches cancelled their services because it was just too dangerous to drive, but I noticed one church of Christ in the area had announced on their social media page, "We will be having services but please bring a snow shovel and help clear the drive and the walkways."  Apparently most of that congregation showed up. I thought that "news" was so unique and interesting. The fact that hundreds of people may have re-tweeted it or reported it shows the impact of our own, individual news. 

  Our church services stayed open, as my husband, always so loyal, said we would at least offer communion to anyone who came, even if they could not stay long. The electric was on and the meeting house was well-heated.

  Stan had a wonderful sermon prepared, (which I read and thought was quite good), called "The Importance of Church Attendance."  The ice storm was very formidable and so even the seasoned snow and ice drivers who have moved here from Alaska could not get through. Many people phoned and said they were on their way, but then phoned again and said they had to turn back and go home. At the last, one person showed up, so my husband didn't think the sermon about the importance of attendance would be appropriate, ha ha!

  He always has a substitute sermon to choose from, and this one was about the "little boats" or "other boats" mentioned in Mark 4:36. He used it as an example of how a Christian can affect events around him, even when people did not follow the teachings of Christ.

   After services we devoted our time to talking to the one person that showed up and found out all about her plans, her family, the fallen trees and storm damage on her property. Her news was more important to us than anything on the major news networks. Nowadays, we do not really depend that much on the news media, as even our elected officials and President have Twitter and other places to broadcast their own news without the media spin.

 I was also noticing how people like to watch other "ordinary" people on YouTube videos talking about things they are doing, what they like, how they cook, and all manner of subjects.  Lately, the news media as we know it, has been complaining about bloggers and people who do their own films about  their own news or own interpretation of the media news, because it cuts in to the attention that should be paid to the "official" news.  I got to thinking how important our own news that we share with each other is!  In the end, what our children want from us is our albums full of photographs of what they did in the home and as a family together. They will save letters from friends about their news, their vacations, and what they are doing daily.  
Since there is no control over the news reports, and no solution to all the problems they broadcast, (which keep us in a perpetual state of anxiety), what you are doing is actually more important. Whether you report it in a letter to a loved one, a phone call, an email or a blog, it  is still what is most interesting and life-changing to many people!  The national media only gives off a kind of spiritual deadness that leaves us in a hopeless state of despair, but ordinary people who bring good news (or even disappointing news) of their doings and their daily progress certainly brings more inspiration and helps make life worth living.

 So, this is why I publish ordinary things here.  In lieu of shameful media news (its almost always r-x and y-z rated, have you noticed, and very bad for our ears and our minds--they focus on constantly bombarding us with the most deviant things), I go to YouTube and type in which book of the Bible I want to hear that day. You can get through the whole New Testament once a month if you listen to it read aloud online while you are doing most housework, and the Old Testament maybe less times in a year. Even if your mind wanders during this, at least it will be wholesome words that give life, as opposed to the wretched "official" media news--yuck. I give them a D for Despicable,  and a VB for Very Bad, and a TOA for Totally Un-Applicable to productive living.  The news media needs all the competition people can give them in broadcasting of any kind: speaking in your home and to others,
 writing letters, newsletters. phone calls, texting, blogging, and any way to spread YOUR news.  If you have a tragedy or a problem, or a triumph and instruction you want to share, I don't see why it is any less important than what the news media has to say.. In fact I think it is MORE INTELLIGENT. There are enough people doing this to drown out the media that does not check their sources, spreads hype, changes opinion, ruins people, and sullies our ears with their reports of things that are staged or created. The media is so bored they often create their own stories out of thin air and make the rest of us worry about the reports even before the stories have been checked out. Of course you know it all has an agenda: to make us all so desperate for relief from chaos that we will agree to more regulations and controls over our lives.

I appreciate the bloggers that take the time to post something they are doing at home, or include us all in their vacation, etc.  I LOVE that kind of news because it makes me want to do better in my life. I remember reading on a home school blog about how a Mother made "morning boxes" (or envelopes or something like that) for her children who wanted to get up a little earlier in the morning than she did, to keep them quiet and busy. My thoughts were about how nice that was that she would share that with those who might benefit from it. It may have been something mothers handed down to their children, but it is nice someone shared it with those who had never thought of it. 

There is a lot of power in what you are doing at home, but it is so great, it is difficult to explain in one post. In short, what you say and do is a great influence that spreads. You are not just raising one generation. Your values will be caught by future generations. That is one reason the powers-that-be discourage women being full time homemakers, men providing for their wives, education at home, Bible teaching, conversion, natural health and many other things.

 Well, after all that, here is my latest news: a T-shirt sewing project. I noticed children's T- shirts were on sale at Walmart for $2.00 each, so I bought two and cut one into strips to make ruffles on the other one:
This project does not require hemming, because the fabric will not fray when you cut it. Since the shirt was a V-neck, I angled the ruffle along that line and over to the side where I stitched it down. It is stitched down at the shoulder, too.  For a round neck, I would drape the ruffle around the neckline.
One of the reasons I sew for my children and grandchildren, is that I want them to have more natural fibres in clothing and more high quality fabrics. 

Thank you to all the bloggers on my blog roll who bring their news.  What your neighbor, your friend, your rellies and the people in the shops are doing, is of daily concern and has a big impact on your life. I assume most people have their share of family problems and can conclude that it is earthshaking and dramatic enough, without adding the national news to it all.

Now, you can go ahead and say I am putting my head in the sand like the ostrich, because I choose to tune out some of the news and am selective about what I want to pay attention to in the national media, but I would suggest you do a study on just what the ostrich is doing when it appears to have "its head in the sand."  There is a lot more going on beneath the surface and there is a reason the ostrich does that! God created the ostrich and it is not as stupid a bird as people have portrayed it to be.

Let us take the lady at home and see what is really going on "beneath the surface."  While others say she is isolated from "real life", she may be carefully training up the next generation to be truthful and diligent and loyal to the family. She may be showing them how to have their own business using the skills she has taught them. She may be creating care-packages for people overseas or for a neglected neighbor or friend

A lady at home may be sending a letter to someone that just "makes their day."  She may be sewing clothes for her children and others, like Dorcas did in the New Testament.  She may  be creating very nutritious meals for her family which boosts their health and prevents a dependence on pharmacy and the medical system.  The housewife looks "beneath the surface" to see if there are ingredients in foods and fabrics and products she uses in her home that may not be good for her family. She looks beneath the surface and behind the scenes in order to guard her family from harmful influences. She knows what is in the products she uses, from food to furniture. She watches for hidden costs. She guides her family into making beneficial decisions for life.
Those ladies who find themselves at home without families are still doing something more important than the news media, because they are practicing  a quiet, peaceful life full of beautifying their home and making life pleasant all around.

The question then arises as to what to do with a disturbing news report.  First, analyze the way it is reported and ask the old questions, "who, what, when, where, how, how much, why." You will discover a lot of information is lacking in some reports. Some of you who have ever been interviewed for a paper or a bulletin, may have experienced this when you saw that a lot of your words were not included, making the story turn out differently than you intended.  So, it is good to question these reports just as you would question a child for every detail when he says he saw a moose coming down the driveway, being sure to ask the questions, "Where were you when you saw it, and how close did you get to the moose, and did the moose see you?" 

As I said, what YOU are doing is THE most important news. What your mother and grandmother did is important.  Learning to develop character qualities from the New Testament is important.  Discovering ways to use time and getting enough rest and having times of recreation is important and it makes life interesting. It is news enough, in my opinion. How much bad news can we take without needing sedatives?   The news media will keep your mind roaring with noise as it replays in your head. We have to decide just how much we can handle. We have a right not to listen to the broadcast news.

The Hollywood film industry and the news media must think ordinary people are doing something important with their variety of media (videos, books, letters, social media, etc.) else they would not complain so loudly that "no one is watching our movies," or "no one is listening to the news."

Instead of depending on the news of the network media, why not record the things your own family members say and do?  It can be a greater story than you know.Years later, someone in your family will want to see it, but how many of the news media reports over the years do we value enough to look at again?

I have a journal where I keep a list of all the phone calls I have made, calls that have come in, letters I received, and visitors who came to the door, invited visitors, trips I have made to town, etc.  This is a reminder that we have our own news in many ways.

Perhaps ostrich has its ear to the ground listening for something. It can hear the movement of other creatures underneath the surface and can detect danger to itself and its young. Some people wonder if the ostrich hears signals in the sand that indicate storms and floods. Maybe it is not hiding from anything as people have previously thought, but looking and listening for food, water, movement of any kind. A search about the ostrich would make an interesting nature study! You might find this creature has a lot more instinct and smarts than has been portrayed to us in the past. We ought to bury-your-head-in-the-sand myth of the ostrich and give them the dignity they deserve.

Ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand—they wouldn't be able to breathe! But they do dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs. Several times a day, a bird puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it really does look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand!
National Geographic › kids › nature › an...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Just Guessing

Jessica Howard design

An friend of mine is guessing with me about the First Lady ball gowns. There are several balls to attend, and my friend has suggested one of the gowns will be in taupe like Jackie Kennedy, and another will be white with sparkles.  I have seen white satin at the fabric store with sparkles on it, which I think is nice because you do not have to have an overlay of sparkly chiffon.  I like simplicity.  

The Vice President's wife might wear blue or deep burgundy.  That's my guess.  But emerald green might be one of the choices of some of the other women.  

I have fabric on my mind today but have found a lovely video showing how to make scones that are light and pillowy and delicious. I will post it here after I have tried the recipe.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

No Guests Today!

Hello Ladies,

Those of you experienced in extending invitations to tea or any kind of hospitality will know the outcome of no-show guests! This time, it was due to a sudden ice storm. 

Here is what the party looked like when the guest list came down to just the hostess!
I had planned to post photos of the whole shebang anyway, so might as well show some:
What you see on the plate are called Devonshire Splits, a roll with cream and jam. The recipe is from The Little Book of English Teas, of which I will post a photo at the end.

Below: some hand made things given to me...

...and a guest book made for me by someone who created it out of a box in which waterproof dishwashing gloves are sold.  She cut the box open on three sides, covered it in scrap papers...
...punched holes to insert blank paper, added end-papers...
...tied a ribbon through it all, adding a pink pen for guests to sign their names.  I even signed the guest book and wrote about the circumstances and included the menu.
Also I wanted to show you a use for the plastic container bags you get at Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars.  I insert all the mail I need to take to the post office so it doesn't fall out of my arms while struggling with car door, wallet, and so on.  I believe they call these "jelly bags" in the UK. 
Without guests, there was more time to do all the projects that cover every room in the house:

...urgent, unfinished sewing,

...urgent unfinished study materials for a class,
urgent unfinished correspondence,
urgent kitchen cleaning!
So far, only the room where the guests were to sit is in order:

This brings me to something I was taught when I was  in my 20's: 

Always have another plan in place for disappointment!  Have somewhere  to go or some interesting thing to do when there is a cancellation that spoils all your plans for company. Do not just sit there thinking it is a wash-out, spoiled day. Just continue as though there were no plans for a party and do what you want. 

It is good for Mothers to help children overcome disappointment by having other things to do by creating substitutions. In this case, I am looking forward to getting the sewing done and have also planned a care-package to take to someone.

My husband was always good at thinking of alternate plans, even at the last minute when anything fell through, and he can find interesting things no matter what the set-backs.

Hope you are having a lovely day and will attend worship in the Lord's church tomorrow.


The festive lights are still up in my home because they are so cheeful in dark days!

Teacup is Regency English bone china, and the pattern has no label or particular name or date.


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