Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kept his wits!

You've heard the saying "keep your wits about you," right? Well, kudos to this Canadian Tenor for keeping his when Celine Dion walks on stage, unbeknown to him!  Take a look.  Impressive!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tea as a communicator

Tea Time is one of my favorite magazines.
 Inside are recipes, tea events that maybe I can attend, necessary tea things to buy, and on the back page are stories (usually nonfiction) of ways in which tea has added to the author's life.
I found this particular story intriguing.
 The author, Beth Morrison, writes about how years ago, her marriage "hit a rough patch."  "It felt as if my husband and I were drifting apart..."

She continues..."we began sharing a cup of green tea in the evenings...We began to talk, share, and reconnect over cups of tea.... I often joke that tea saved our marriage, which probably is more truth than fiction."

The author now gives a mug and a fine tea cup to couples for their wedding....mismatched, on purpose.

Beth  writes "...These mismatched mugs serve as a symbol that a couple is stronger when different... make daily communication  a relationship priority...."

I started thinking about this fine ritual and realized hubby and I actually do this more often than I thought! Here is his mug and one of my tea cups!  (from my dear England friend, Marion.  She brought it for me on a recent trip to the States! )

I love the idea of giving this as a gift to bride/grooms.  I am going to start this unique gift idea!

Have you ever read Tea Time? Here's the link to learn more. Oh, and yes, the article in this issue about Downton Abbey (with the REAL owners) is exceptional!  I REALLY want to visit!   Guests have been arriving at Highclere since 1988! What a royal treat to be able to view the grounds of Downton Abbey. I can only IMAGINE!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pure Joy

Hubby and I spent most of last Saturday with 3 other couples.  We had the most splendid day.
Want to take a guess what we did?

Shopping, you say?  Ah, NOPE!

Snowshoeing? Umm...I wish! But nope, not that either.

Give up?

Okay, I'll tell you!

This....this is what we made!

Bird feeders!  We built bird feeders!
It really was great fun.  The guys cut the wood and the girls watched!

Okay, that's sort- of true!

They really did cut the wood.  It was like watching 4 little boys.  They couldn't get enough of the power tools and the nail gun! Even the girls got a chance to use the nail gun. We were surprised we got the chance! (Supervised, of course!)

What do you think of the sign?  Us girls just had to piece the letters together. Easy!

The weather outside may have been frightful, but we were cozy inside the shop! Amazing what you can do when you work together! Oh, there was food involved too.  Lots of it! We didn't starve! The birds won't now either!

Once the feeders were put together, it was the guys turn to sit. We were up---time to stain! We all picked red!

I'd say they turned out pretty well. The birds at our feeder are getting their fill.

We liked doing the project together so much, we all said, "Let's do it again!"

What about you...making any new projects lately?  

Monday, January 18, 2016


Branson is back!  I wondered if we would see him again.

(Below is a link to English Cream Tea Etiquette.  I loved the 10 tips and thought you would too.)

Speaking of etiquette...Cora was out of line, don't you think?  She let her anger get the best of her and spoke before thinking.  All on the day before Mrs. Hughes' wedding.  The nerve!  At least she saw the error of her ways and fessed up right away!

Harsh words spoken between The Dowager and Mrs. Crawley!  I love the banter. It gets better by the week!  May the best woman win!

What did you think of the wedding? Just the way Mrs. Hughes wanted. A perfect celebration. Loved it.

Tip #4--Little pinky points in,  or out? Click on the link to find out.

I'm trying not to think that each week we are watching Downton, we are that much closer to the end. NOOOOOOOOO!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


That jackpot everyone's talking about?  The one with a bunch of zeros after the 1.5?  Sigh...
We didn't win. You?
But, you know what?  We spent 2 bucks and went on a trip down the "what if" trail.

Waste of money you say? Not so fast.

Think about it. What else can you do with $2? Buy a few Snickers bars and cry because you gobbled both of them on your way home?
OR went through the nearest drive thru and bought a fufu drink that had more calories than the Snicker bars you just ate?

Hubby and I spent about 15 minutes talking about "What would we do if we did win?"
We went down quite a few rabbit holes.

It was a great exercise. Money doesn't have to be the "root of all evil." Although, I have read that some who have won the lottery wish they never had.  We'll never get that chance, but we know for sure we already won the lottery because we have each other, our kids, our faith, family, friends.....

We win. We are rich in what really matters.

Monday, January 11, 2016


The tea is brewed, and the ginger cookies are ready!
Let another episode of Downton begin!  It's 1925! I love that time period. I should have been born back then!
(I love my teacup.  It's from my friend Paula in Spain!)

"Don't be such a ninny." That Mary.  She is so rude to Edyth. I'm thinking they will never get along.
Mary does have a soft spot. I know its in there somewhere because look how she is helping Anna. Poor Anna. But she does have that handsome Mr. Bates. "To me we are one person."  Be still my heart!

The enemy lines are being drawn. Cousin Isabel and The Dowager are on opposite sides concerning the hospital. The allies are joining Isabel--including Cora.  YIKES! Don't mess with the Dowager. Isn't that typical--daughter in law against mother in law!  (just for the record--I had the BEST mother in law a girl could ever ask for.) Could they really be "embarking on a civil war?"

I love Julian Fellowes' writing!  The dialog is epic!

Mrs Hughes should be able to have her reception wherever she wants. She's the bride. I pick the schoolhouse over the Great Hall. Fight for what you want Mrs. Hughes! Best line..."It's not us. It's not who we are..." And then she talks about "The Blessed Lady Mary." Ha! You go girl. Don't let Lady Mary win!

And then there is Mrs. Drew. I feel so sorry for her.

The best line in this whole episode was from Mr. Drew...

"We forgot about emotions. Emotions will trip you up every time...."  

  And who loses in the end?  ---Mrs. Drew....So sad.

Until next week...

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Snow is coming down. It does that every now and then here in the tundra.

"Snow flakes are falling like they're having a pillow fight up in Heaven!"---Susan Branch.
Cutest line ever!

I would not want to be a Minnesota Vikings fan (ever!) but especially on Sunday! -2 is what the weatherman is predicting the temperature will be for the game.  YIKES!

2+2 may =4, but -2?  That is just plain COLD! I predict a lot of cold butts sitting on those bleachers.  Is it worth it to watch your team lose? Hmmmmm...

Nothing like a warm fire in the fireplace, a great book, and a hearty  bowl of soup to keep cozy on days like these.
Had my favorite  last night...tomato bisque.  Actually, my VERY favorite is French Onion soup,  but its too hard to make!   We were at our dear friends for a New Years Eve party. Yvonne made this AMAZING french onion.  I really wanted to take a picture of the delectable soup in all its cheesy, caramelized onion glory, but decided that may be rude in front of the other guests! She knows I have this habit of taking pictures of my food! Crazy, I know, but this soup was worthy of a picture! I should've done it anyway!
I did, however, get one of her table.
Move over Martha Stewart.   Yvonne has the touch!

So, are you eating soup these days?  What kind?

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, Last Season

Whatever will I do without the familiar score at the beginning of Downton Abbey?  Or, what about the ringing of the bell, the floral arrangement losing its petal, the handwritten letters posted and  ready to be mailed, and the feather duster tidying the chandelier?

Lets not go there for now, okay?

Julian Fellowes has done a tremendous job with characterization. I laughed out loud a few times last evening as Mrs. Patmoore tried to talk with Mr Carson about "such things." So funny when she had to turn the other way as not to look him in the eye!  Mrs. Hughes sure was asking a lot of Mrs. P. don't you think?!

Will Lady Mary and Lady Edith ever get along?
And that Miss Denker--she is quite the gossip.  A perfect Ladie's Maid? Well, maybe not! The Dowager knows how to handle her!

A few lines I loved...
"I would rather be single, than be with the wrong man."--Lady Mary
"Is it cold up there on that mountain top?--Dowager to Cousin Crawley!

Maggie Smith cracks me up!  She is one convincing actress. Remember this line from episode three?
Cora: "I think Granny's right."
Dowager:  "Can somebody write that down?" HA!

So thrilled that Anna and Mr Bates can now have some  peace.  Whew! But, will they ever "truly" be happy? Anna seems not able  to get pregnant.  I feel so bad for her. Now that is true writing when the author can get to you emotionally.  I feel like I could be friends with every single character--including Barrow!  I have to remind myself often this is only fictional. It is not real! Although, I wish it were!

I am going to miss Downton Abbey.
What did you think of the first episode?