Springtime Tea Feed

A Woodsy Little Tea ...

Good Tuesday morning, my friends!

Well, it seems Typepad is back in working order this morning, so I'm here to say Hello! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I'd like to share a few pictures of a little "moms' tea" I hosted Sunday afternoon for a few dear friends:

  Moms tea 2

I used my beloved pinecone tea set, the one I bought for a song at a discount store many years ago ... I set the tea table up in the living room where we gathered, in front of a sunny window. And for refreshments, we had strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake (purchased from a local farm) and tender butter spritz cookies ...

Moms tea 4

... there were also fresh strawberries to nibble on and, of course, there was tea! (Black English Afternoon Tea to be exact.)

Before my friends arrived, I arranged a samplng of our woodland blossoms into jars and pitchers - azaleas and lily-of-the-valley as well as a clump of the yellow archangel which is, quite frankly, taking over our property. Invasive, but quite pretty.

Moms tea 5

 Fourteen years ago, I started homeschooling alongside these dear ladies ...

Moms tea 1

We try to meet, at least once a year, for a little "tea and conversation" ... to catch up and compare notes. Years ago (though it seems like just yesterday!) we were discussing curriculum and co-op - nowadays we're grappling with college decisions and life "after homeschooling." (Though a couple of us are still in the thick of it!)

Speaking of which, this little guy was thrilled to be part of the "tea," because otherwise it was a "child-free" event ...

Moms tea 8


It was such a fun day and I loved having them all here ... hope to do it again soon!

Moms tea 7


Well, thanks so much for stopping by and letting me share my day with you ... I hope you enjoy your Tuesday, my friends!

I'll be back here again very soon ...

Tuesday Tea: Roosters & Resurrection Rolls


It's a fine day here in New England ... the sun is shining and the wind is brisk ... the rest of Holy Week stretches before us and the weather promises to get even better. How nice it is to usher in Easter with true Spring all around us.

(This is not always the case in our part of the world ... Easter can be quite wintry, some years!)

Anyhoo, today's tea was a nice refreshing break ... we were up early and at 'em - with the roosters, as they say! - and so my theme this week is: roosters! I have always loved roosters (for their connection with "dawn" and their colorful looks) and of course, they are symbolic at Easter:

"Amen, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times."

My friends, are you familiar with Petook: An Easter Story, written by Caryll Houselander (and illustrated by the fabulous Tomie de Paola)? I placed the book in my reading corner today, as Petook is a rooster, you see. Oh, this book is a treasure, and I make sure to take it out of the library each year during Holy Week. I used to have little boys sitting at my feet as I read, but these days I just read it aloud to Earlybird - if he'll sit still! - though quite often the older boys will make a casual comment or take a peek over my shoulder ...

I love how good book memories stay with you no matter how old you grow.


So here's a little peek at my afternoon "Rooster Tea," and a recap of our faith @ home craft - we made "Resurrection Rolls," another Holy Week tradition.

First, take a look at this tiny fellow, resplendent in color and finely made glass:


And my cup today is a new absolute favorite - a big (really big!) ceramic mug, painted in the most cheerful colors:


My tea? Earl Grey (full test, not decaf).

My snack? A resurrection roll (details below).

This is a cute coaster I've had for years:


 ... it makes me happy to put my morning coffee down on it. :)

And here's a wooden rooster, found amongst the boys' playthings:


Our "welcome" flag:


Now, these guys have nothing to do with tea (or roosters for that matter), but I could not resist sharing this:


So sweet. :)

And speaking of sweet, now for those resurrection rolls we made!

A quick set-up ...


A buttery-spiced marshmallow all ready to roll ...


Neat little packages:


Fifteen minutes later ...




You see, the marshmallow melts but the crescent roll holds its shape - so what you have resembles an empty tomb ... and it reminds us of the Resurrection ... hence the name.


Well, I'd best wrap up as the day's coming to a close - Bill's on his way home and I've got supper to start. (As I suspect you do too - if not now, perhaps soon - or already!) I do hope you've all had a nice day ... and I thank you sincerely for stopping by ...

I'll be back here to see you again soon!

Edit: My friends, Bill just came in and I'm just finding out about the tornadoes in Texas. Prayers go out to all in Texas, but especially the victims of these horrible storms. And to my dear readers from Texas, please leave a note when you can and let us know you're all right. My heart is with you tonight.

Coffee, Flowers, Cats and Books ...

Happy Wednesday, my friends!


The sun's been such a tease today - as it can be at this time of year - slipping in and out of the clouds. We had a few sprinkles, then bright sun and now dark gloomy skies ... there's a chill in the air, but not so much you'd need a warm jacket ...

This feels decidedly March.

And this is my last "Teatime" in March - for next week we'll be in the first week of April! (I'm feeling a butterfly theme for next week.) But instead of tea today, I snuck some leftover coffee from the carafe and added a new creamer I bought. Now, I'm not usually one for non-dairy creamers, nor do I generally like flavored coffee, but considering that delicious "Caramel Almond" iced coffee I had at Dunkin Donuts recently, I thought I'd give this stuff a try. I happened to have a coupon last week and it was on sale and it promised all-natural ingredients ... all this to say ~ I'm a sucker for a good marketing campaign, lol!

Anyhoo, the resulting concoction actually wasn't too bad - though it will probably taste better cold - and with my crisp, little almond-flavored cookie I dunked in it, it did have that yummy flavor I was looking for. (Not to mention a little kick of caffeine!)


A few more notes from my day ... I thought this made a fine little posy:


It's a plain glass votive (for candles) with a small bunch of snipped forsythia tucked inside. Wouldn't this be pretty at the Easter table? I'm thinking a thin ribbon could be tied around the middle of the "votive vase" to dress it up a little. But how simple a project, and so inexpensive? You could make up a whole bunch of them to scatter along a dining table, in between candles, or perhaps on a buffet. The votive can be found at the craft store for about a dollar, and of course, forysthia (in most parts of the country) is readily available right now ... but the thing is this ... will there be forsythia still in bloom come Easter?!

So I enjoyed my coffee and my cookie and a quiet half-hour while my kids were occupied in one way or another. I'll admit, I considered a catnap, but in the end, I left that to Archie ...


(Is he not the cutest?)

I was also tempted to work on my Easter plans, but I knew that would get me revved up instead of relaxed, so I decided to just to sit and drink and nibble and think ... :)

And when Bookworm returned, he brought home my library "holds," two wonderful Easter story books:


Petook we've enjoyed for many years now, but The Colt and The King was a new find for us. And I will tell you, that as I read, I wept a little, because it is honestly such a touching story. The tale is told by an old donkey, who, when just a young colt, carried a very kind man - a great king, he soon realized - into the city of Jerusalem. But amid the cheers and shouts and waving palm branches, the little colt grew terribly afraid ...

"Jesus saw me tremble.

He came and stood beside me,

his hand upon my back.

In his voice was a river of quiet;

in his touch, a shelter of peace.

And my fear flew away

like a bird set free."

{How absolutely beautiful is that quote? I think I might have to frame it.}

 And as the colt carried Jesus further, he quickly realized he didn't want to leave him with this "worrisome crowd," but instead, to take him to his own hillside home where he could enjoy peace and quiet. The story ends with the colt - now a grown donkey - acknowledging that though he's not seen Jesus since that day, he knows that he will again someday ... and when he does, he'll share all that he has with his friend ...

 "My hillside will be a throne for him, and at night the stars will weave him a crown."

(And now I know what I'll read to EB on Sunday.)

I have a real fondness for books like this, that weave the natural world we know so well, into the Faith we hold so dear. I think they are wonderful for young children who so readily love animals and the great big outdoors ... but are just getting to know the ins and outs of their Faith. I know my own Earlybird really responds to these kinds of stories. All my boys have ... nature nuts we are and always have been. :)


Well, my friends, I've taken up enough of your time, so I'll wrap up ... but I do thank you for stopping by and sharing "tea" with me - and more than just a little conversation. I hope your day was a good one, and I wish you all a pleasant good night ...

See you here again very soon!

Tuesday Tea ~ On the First Day of Spring

Good afternoon, everyone! I hope you've all had a nice day. :)

This was a busy day for me, and to be honest, I did not think I'd squeeze in that weekly tea break! But in the end I was able to, and though it was not a long break, it was just what I needed ...

And because I was dragging a bit, instead of my usual decaffeinated tea, I had a small cup of coffee. Just my regular brew, with a "half" sugar and a splash (or three) of cream. As I've mentioned here before, I'm a bit of a coffee fiend, but I don't often have it after mid-morning. However ... during one recent "errand day," I splurged on a "Caramel Almond Iced Coffee" at Dunkin' Donuts and it was ... So. Incredibly. Delicious.

I must admit I can't wait to try it again!

Well, I do adore almond flavor (not so much almonds though, oddly enough) ... and my "biscuit" today is a small Amaretti I picked up at our favorite local Italian bakery. To be honest, I found them a bit too sweet, so I think I might try making my own. This looks like a nice recipe here ... they'd be lovely at Easter, don't you think?

Now, for a few Springy thoughts ...

I thought the Mary Englebreit page-a-day calendar was especially lovely today:


And I thought my tiny snowdrops were quite charming, nestled in an old peppermint extract bottle.


I thought a lot about Easter celebrations today ...so I set up a handy planning folder ... and Mum and I talked menus and seating arrangements this morning. :)


I thought it was time to hang our forsythia wreath on the front door ...


... and nestle some pretty "robin eggs" in a cozy basket:


Those are actually candy-covered, caramel-filled chocolate eggs! But shhh ... don't tell the boys that! At least, not till Easter. ;)

And earlier today, I prepped all the veggies for tonight's Pasta Primavera


Love all those fresh veggie colors!

And speaking of those veggies ... I have them in the oven now (tossed with olive oil and seasonings) and they smell awesome! (In fact, as I just typed those words, both Crackerjack and Bookworm started sniffing the air and wondering "what smelled so good?" I just smiled and said ... "Vegetables!" Bookworm gave a nod, but CJ did not look amused. Lol.)

Now, I didn't do much spring cleaning and I didn't get any seeds planted today, nor did I catch up on emails as I'd hoped ... and we only did math and English and just a wee bit of art ... but I did spend a lot of time with my boys outside ... and we did locate spring peepers in the vernal pool out back. (That was very exciting.)

So tomorrow I'll play a little catch up, but for now, I'll just appreciate what today was, and try not to worry about what it coulda-shoulda been.


My friends, I hope you have a nice night ... and as always, thanks so much for stopping by. I will see you again very soon!