Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rolling out the Tea Trolley Once Again!

After a delay of many, many months, I am pleased to announce the re-introduction of  "The Tea Trolley",  my  blog dedicated to the sumptuous art of preparing and enjoying afternoon tea.  I want to express my heart-felt appreciation to my dear friend, and blog collaborator, the Paper Princess, creator and author of The Silken Purse, who graciously gifted me with an absolutely stunning banner to crown my new venture.  Even though we are sadly seperated by thousands of Canadian miles, it was so much fun to partner on this project, via long disatnce and internet.  It was ALMOST as fun as spending an afternoon at her lovely Bed and Breakfast on the east coast,  enjoying her precious company, sipping a steaming bowl of splosh and indulging in freshly-baked scones smothered with raspberry preserves and topped with a generous dollop of clotted cream.. (ALMOST, but not quite!)

My vision for "The Tea Trolley" includes the sharing of recipes, table-setting and tea invitation ideas, and so much more.  Come and be a part of our little community. There may even be an opportunity for a cyber-space tea party and a give-away or two!  Our only limitation is the breadth, height and depth of our collective imagination.  How wonderful is that! 

The Paper Princess and I have been blessed immeasurably by the people we have fellowshipped with  over the intoxicating aroma of a finely-brewed cup of tea.    Between the two of us, we have hosted and attended hundreds of tea gatherings, each unigue and memorable.  We invite you to join us at "The Tea Trolley" to glean what you can from our experiences, and to contribute what you will to our tea-sipping community at large.  You are most cordially invited and welcomed!         

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flowers From a Kindred Spirit

Ten minutes ago my doorbell rang and I received an unexpected but much needed long-distance hug from an old and dear friend, in the form of beautiful posie of purple Roses, Irises and Snapdragons accompanied by a sweet stuffed bunny.  My first thought?  Some bunny loves me!  I wonder who?

Although I seldom let my mind travel down this dangerous road, I found myself wondering today what, or more specifically who I have spent my life serving.  Sometimes people can be so self-focused, ungrateful and unhelpful, and  I have recently had my fill of feeling unappreciated and taken for granted.  After a week of ill-health, and stress, I finally reached my limit in the early hours of this morning and called an old, dear freind to share my heartbreak amid many tears. She listened, she comiserated, she couseled she told she understood, and I believed her. By the end of our conversation, I felt as though I could live through the rest of my day.  What would we do without friends like that?  I shutter to think.  

The card read:  "Friendship is when people know all about you but like you anyway.  Here is a hug to celebrate 33 years of unconditional friendship, Love Cindy"  Thanks, I needed that.    

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Diminuitive Strand of Pearls

I remember my grandmother Annie as a woman of extraordinary integrity, compassion, and dignity. Although she died when I was very young, her influence on my life has been monumental. A devoted Catholic, the loving wife of a hard-working husband, and the mother of 16 children, she epitomized grace even at the most difficult of times.

As a young girl I suffered from a perforated eardrum, a condition that colored my young life for many years. Because of it, I was unable to learn to ride a bike, as it affected my balance. Lack of coordination made me clumsy and prone to falling. I always seemed to be sporting scrapped knees, sprained ankles or wrists and I was constantly plagued with painful ear infections. I remember one year when all my classmates were enthusiastically involved in swimming lessons at a local pool, but I was doomed to sit out, and watch them have fun because chlorinated pools were breeding grounds for bacterias that I was not able to properly fend off. I felt isolated, excluded. awkward and sad. My grandmother understood my disappointment, but never allowed me to fall into self-pity. When my doctors determined that they only way to deal with the condition was surgery, I was frightened, but hopeful that I would soon be able to participate in the many childhood experiences that my condition had kept me from enjoying. Sadly though, my dear grandmother had become ill, and died of pancreatic cancer days before my surgery. One of her last requests was for my grandfather to make sure that I received a bouquet of roses from her after my surgery. When I awoke from anaesthetic my eyes focused on a beauty lady's head vase filled with pink baby roses, with a small card that simply said "with love from Meme". It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The porcelain lady wore a grey-black hat, a diminuitive strand of antique white pearls around her neck. I was smitten by her simple elegance, and have always wanted to own just such a necklace of my own.

Pearls however, are an expensive luxury, and not something I could ever justify buying for myself. Even for my wedding, fifteen years ago, it just wasn't possible to see my way clear to indulging in something so costly. Five years ago my husband, a fine piano accompanist, visited China as part of a cultural exchange with the British Columbia Girls Choir. Knowing that China was renowned for pearls, and thinking that buying them from the source mught make them affordable, I requested that he look for a strand for me. When he arrived home, he informed me that, in fact, the pearls were VERY expensive, and it just wasn't in the budget. I was disappointed, but understanding. Two years later, on Christmas day, he gifted me with a gorgeous, long strand of ivory pearls, presented in a pink box from the pearl district of China. I loved them, but they were not the short elegant string of antique white pearls I had dreamt of for so many years.

The following year I began to teach ESL(English as a Second Language) to a group of wonderful Asian adults at my Church. At the end of the year, it is their custom to gift their teachers with a token of their appreciation. That day in June, I opened a little box to find something that took my breath away. There, cradled in a cloud of white cotton batton were the pearls of my dreams. My students did not know, as I had never mentioned how much I had always wanted just such a necklace. I was taken back, shocked really at how they were exactly as I had imagined them; unassuming, pure and elegant, just like the ones worn by the demure lady with the pink roses in her hat, that bitter-sweet gift from my Meme. So, it seemed appropriate to wear them on that special day this summer, lovingly coupled with my engagement amethyst when I once again renewed my wedding vows. The idea of them, a gift from my beloved grandmother, the reality of them from precious ones whom I have had the priviledge to teach and befriend in my adopted province.

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More on the Anniversary Party

Rose with Joseph Shore who gave the toast to the anniversary couple

Back again with a few more pictures from our recent soiree. Celebrating a 15th amiversary is a bit unusual, as it is not traditionally seen as a significant year, but we felt very much in the mood to recognize the blessings we have receieved over the past decade and a half. Our love for one another has been greatly enhanced by the friends and mentors we have met in our adopted province since 1994. As none of us are getting any younger, we wanted to fete not only our marriage, but the significant influence these wonderful folks have had in our "Common Life". Eric's pastor, a young man in his thirties, commented that many of our guests were elderly, and as I reflected on his observation, I came to the conclusion that this celebration was really in honor of these dear ones who have meant so much to us, and have taught us immeasurable lessons about what it means to be committed to God first and then to your life's partner. It was far more about them and much less about us. Because of their sainted example, Eric and I have successfully completed Marriage 101, and look forward to tackling advanced studies, and perhaps even our PhD in marriage like many of these folks have who have been faithfully espoused some of them for 45 to 50 to 60 years. It is one of the truisms of life that you never know when someone dear will be taken from you, so the rule of thumb should always be celebrate when you can, as often as you can, with as many of your loved ones as you can. Tomorrow may be a day when sterling memories of parties-past will be one of your most precious comforts until that Day when, all tears behind us, we meet at the Great Wedding Feast that knows no end.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our 15th Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal and Reception

Question: How do you know you are getting older? Answer: When it takes an entire week to recover from planning,preparing for and implementing a small party! It has been seven days since Eric and I celebrated with our 15th Wedding Anniversary. Although it was a tremendous amount of work, it was truly lovely. We renewed our wedding vows in a short but meaningful ceremony presided over by Eric's pastor and witnessed by our dearest friends (minus a few, who due to illness or distance were not able to be with us). Eric and I catered 90% of it ourselves, although two dear friends brought welcomed additions to the buffet table, and several more sweet people aided significantly in the setting out and cleaning up. We are left with wonderful memories, and not a few unexpected anniversary gifts! (something we weren't at all anticipating, but my, wasn't it just so generous!)

As planned, I wore my wedding dress of antique white bridal silk. my pearls and amethysts, and the wedding wreath and veil I had lovingly designed as my something new ( the wreath) combined with something old ( the veil from my wedding day). Eric looked dapper and handsome in his new suit. Using gorgeous antique white and mauve-pink roses, my friend Hellie, made my bouquet, the corsages and buttonieres for various participants. The tables were set with lilac gigham, and antique white. It all looked just spendid! Our venue was the banquet room at a local condominium complex which was like a resort; the grounds were a verdant bower of summer blossoms; roses, hydrangea, daisies, petunias, dahlias, imaptients, lilies, nicotania, and pansies, to name but a few.

The buffet table looked most inviting , with the food set out on various levels, draped in lilac and gigham. We all ate to our hearts content, and from all accounts, we had a wonderful time. Despite the fact that Eric and I got little (Eric) to no sleep (me!) we enjoyed the celebration immensely. People are already asking when we will be doing it again, and we are seriosly considering revisiting the idea in 5 years for our 20th anniversary.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Celebrations A Plenty!

Pearls ( a gift from my ESL class) joined with my lovely engagement jewellery, an amethyst pendant.
(Above)) My hand-crafted bridal wreath with attached veil from my wedding in 1994

Dearest Readers,
It is hard for me to fathom that it has been over two months since I last blogged! Life is progressing at the speed of light! Entertaining house guests, maintaining my home while my husband has been off on a 3-week European tour, tending my fledgling garden, and planning an anniversary celebration which will take place in just three short days, has left me little energy to do anything else! But as the busyness will soon be at an end, I promise to take the time to share with you some photos from my activities as well as a few recipes from the menu of our up-coming festivities.

My husband and I observed our 15th Wedding Anniversary this year, on July 9th. I say "observed" and not "celebrated" because in fact, we were apart on that special day because Eric was away on tour with the British Columbia Girls' Choir. Alas, my ardent hope of joining him on that adventure to England, Scotland and Germany was dashed in early April when I had to admit that the precarious state of my health would not allow for extended and prolonged travel. Although the trip was one I had dreamed of for many years, I knew in my heart of hearts now was not the time to consider it. Instead, I chose to stay at home to rest, care for our beloved pets, and keep the home-fires burning, so to speak. ( not that we NEEDED any home fires, as we have been experiencing a bonifide heat wave here on the West coast. Yikes, The mid thirties and HOT, HOT, HOT!) Partially to distract myself from not feeling too sorry for myself, and partially because we felt the definite need to celebrate with our dear friends, we decided to pick a Saturday in mid-August to renew our wedding vows and have a little reception. It amazes me how much effort and energy it takes to plan such an event, but, dear readers that is what I have been doing for the past two months or so; planning, coordinating, and creating for our little festivity! In another day or so I will be knee-deep in catering preparations for our little soiree for 28 people. We have intentionally kept it very intimate, as I am more or less catering it by myself and want to have enough hootspa left to enjoy myself. Once it is over and the dust has settled , I will share some of our photographs. Meanwhile, I want to include here a picture or two of the bridal wreath and veil I made for the ceremony. The veil is the one I wore originally, but the wreath is a new addition which I really love. Please consider this a hopeful sign of things to follow, and meanwhile take good care of yourself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How My Garden Grows!

Look at these absolutely gorgeous peonies! I am so proud! This season, for the first time in nigh onto 7 years, I have been enjoying the garden. For whatever reason, ( and believe me, I am NOT complaining) the pernicious allergy I have had to something in my back yard seems to have abated, allowing me to cautiously venture out into the garden. My sorely-neglected, but much-beloved peonies have been pruned and watered regularly, and I was able to plant a stand of stargazer, Pandora and Casa-Blanca lilies, (which I hope will be lovely!) and create several window boxes and large planters of Draecena, pansies and lobelia. I do hope everything will flourish as I have sorely missed the opportunity over the past several season to drink in the splendours of the out of doors. I will post pictures of the other plants as I get them. My, isn't nature wonderful!

Kudos to My ESL Class! They have Endured Another Year!

Congratulations to my wonderful ESL class. They have endured another year of learning our very difficult language. What a priviledge to teach them! Here is a picture of all who have worked so hard and so faithfully this year. I will miss you all and hope to see you again in September.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Canadian Regional Cuisine? Nova Scotian Gingerbread

Is there anything that can be called "distinctly" Canadian? Are there social, cultural, religious, political values that belong to Canada, and Canada alone? My ESL students have asked this question and are eager to hear my answer. I have pondered the question and can come up with only one honest answer, and that answer is "No". Canada is truly a mosaic. Our national fabric resembles a quilt,not a mono-chromatic blanket. We are one, and yet we are many. We speak many languages, although our official tongues are French and English. At one time we would have called ourselves a Christian nation, yet we embrace those of every creed and those with no creed at all, and long may we do so. We are Scottish, French, Irish, Kurdish, German, Korean, Israeli, English, Latvian, Italian, Greek, South-East Asia, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Australian, African, Iranian, Welsh, Ukrainian, and the list goes on and on and on. Our regional dishes include, but are not restricted to Cedar-planked Salmon ( Aboriginal Canadian) Banach (Scottish) Rappie Pie (French) Sauerkraut (German) Pirogi (Ukrainian) Spanakopita (Greek) Curry ( South-East Asian) Kimchi (Korean) Dolma (Kurdish) Sushi (Japanese). We celebrate the best of all cultures and dare to call the resulting beloved menagerie "Canadian". If we are distinctive it is because we desire to be inclusive of all that is lovely, honorable, wholesome and respectful. In case you have not yet cottoned on, I am passionately in love with this country and this culture. I can think of few blessings greater than that of having been born and raised here. In celebration of my own, east-coast heritage, I would love to share a very famous recipe from Nova Scotia. It is simply, Nova Scotian Gingerbread. Low in calories and high in taste, the fragrance of it fills the house with the scent of baking ginger and cloves. Served warm with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream, or a delicious warm lemon sauce ( or a bit of both!) it is a delight both to the eye and the taste buds. Enjoy, and think of me as you indulge in your first bite!

Nova Scotian Gingerbread

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup lightly packed demerara brown sugar

1/3 cup Molasses

*1 egg

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup boiling water


In a medium-sized bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and spices) Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Into these wet ingredients beat in molasses and egg.Stir the dry ingredients gently into the creamed mixture, alternating with with boiled water, and ending with dry ingredients, combining until just mixed. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 8 X 4 or 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F oven for 40-45 minutes or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for ten minutes. on a baking rack. Remove from pan and allow to sit of baking rack until completely cool. (If you can STAND it, but I like to serve mine warm from the oven!) To store, wrap tightly or put in an air-tight container. Each 1/12 of a loaf is 133 calories! Pretty good for a delicious dessert, but that of course does not include the lemon sauce or whipped cream. (Lemon Sauce Recipe to follow! Yum, yum, oh yum!)

* your egg should be room temperature, but I NEVER remember to take it out of the fridge in time for that, so soaking the egg in warm water for 15 minutes before hand will bring it closer to room temperature.

Lemon Sauce

1/2 cup white sugar ( if you are concerned about calories you could use a 1/2 and 1/2 split if sugar and Splenda)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon butter ( Go ahead and indulge, it won't kill you!)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

*the juice of one lemon

In saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and nutmeg/ Gradually whisk in boiling water, stirring to remove any lumps. Simmer over low hear, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve over warmed gingerbread and enjoy AS, NO DOUBT, YOU WILL!

* To get the most juice out of your lemon, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds on high. You will double or even triple the amount of juice you will get from the lemon. I like to zest my lemon after if has been juiced, because if you do it before, the lemon falls apart as it is juiced.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dripping with Diamonds and Pearls

The excuses for an almost two month hiatus from my blog are multitudinous, and I won't bore you with them at great length. Suffice it to say that in early February I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted at the same time, and it has taken me quite a while to recover. Note to those of you with teenagers..... if wisdom tooth extraction should ever become necessary for your child, make sure to deal with it while they are young and able to bounce back easily. At the ripe old age of 29 and some-months :), it was not a cake walk, to say the least.

Fast on the heels of my dental surgery came both Valentine's Day and my much-anticipated birthday. (after last year's celebration of my ?0th, from theretofore I will forever be 29-and-some-months) On Hearts day, hubby-dearest presented me with a little square velvet jewelry case. He gave me a lovely, wide, gold, comfort-fit wedding band. Although I appreciated the band, and wore it with pride, one thing was still missing. During our engagement, almost 15 years ago, I received as engagement jewelry an absolutely stunning 9-karat amethyst pendant set in gold. Although it was quite striking, I felt sad that I didn't have a proper engagement ring, something that every girl in the culture expects. However, at the time, finances would not permit such an extravagance, so I hoped for it one day, and always felt that the solitary wedding band looked incomplete. Well this year. not to be outdone by Valentine's, on my birthday, my husband presented me with a truly gorgeous trinity-styled princess-cut engagement ring highlighted by eight inset diamonds (three on either side of the larger stones and two embedded on the underside of the ring highlighting the phrase "past, present, future"). To say the least, it is a stunner, and looks great on my pudgy digits! Despite my attempts to be "cool" about the whole thing, I admit that I often find myself mesmerized by the sparkle! It is, most certainly, not the kind of ring I ever expected to own. And yes, I am going to be gouache enough to post a picture of it! It is ever-so-much larger than what I had imagined owning. In this case though, folks, bigger is definitely better!
After receiving the gorgeous ring, I was surprised once again by the generosity of my ESL class (English As A Second Language). At the end of the winter term they presented me with a beautiful cultured pearl necklace and bracelet. It was a total shock and a complete delight. I had been looking for a short, simple white pearl necklace, and without having ever mentioned to anyone, I was stunned to open the gift from my students to find exactly what I had envisioned. I have worn it almost daily since receiving it. Between this thoughtful gift, and my apres-engagement ring, I am feeling most blessed and not a little pampered!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just a few more pictures and a recipe for scones

(Upper Left) Tea guests Dorothy (chintz polo shirt) and Kathleen (black cardigan and chintz blouse) survey the desert table. Directly in front of the ladies on the tea table are chocolate-dipped shortbread heart cookies alternated with decadent chocoalte-dipped strawberries. Toward the front is clotted cream encircled by freshly baked English Scones accompanied by Raspberry Jam. At table center is a heavenly Chocolate Pound Cake and Skor-Bar Trifle. At the back of the table sits the meticulously-polished Silver Service ready to dispense two types of delicious tea, the ubiquitous Orange Pekoe, and a new favorite, Chocolate Dessert Tea ( a perfect accompaniment to all things Chocolate!)as well as a rich, dark brewed coffee. (Lower-Upper Left))The first course in an afternoon tea is a variety of savouries, consisting of sandwiches (egg salad, curried chicken, cucumber with cream cheese and dill, and for those with a sweet tooth, the ever-popular cherry-cheese sandwich.) Also served was a spinach dip accompanied with rice crackers and miniature toast-point ramkins., as well as tuna mushroom toastades. Each dish was garnished with a variety of crudite and/or grapes)

(Lower left) More desserts are featured on a lovely silver tray. Starting from the left are buterscotch squares, followed by chocolate, oatmeal and cocont macaroons, lemon-curd shortbread tartlets and Nova Scoita's famous Cape Breton Pork Pies (not REALLY made of pork but a to-die-for puree of cooked dates, demerara sugar and lemon ensconsed in a shortbread tartlet, and topped with a diminuitive dolop of maple syrup butter cream. My husband's hands-down favorite!)

(Below) Elisia can always be depended upon to help out in the kitchen. What a gem of a friend!

(Immediate Left) Scone Queen putting the final touches on the tuna-mushroom tostades.

Rose's Tea Scones
Set oven to 375 or 400 degrees F. (depending on how hot your oven bakes)
Please read through the Complete Listing of Ingredients before you start!
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking POWDER
1 teaspoon salt
Optional Ingredients
Add One of the following four options
1/2 c. currants soaked in hot water and drained once they are plumped
1/2 cup raisins ( if they are really dry you can soak and drain these as well)
1/2 cup dried apricots cut into the size of raisins, along with 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (one stick) extremely cold butter cut into eight pieces
1/4 cup granualted sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
1 teaspoon real vanilla
enough homogenized milk or cereal cream to make 1 cup of liquid when combined with the egg and vanilla
Combine the following ingredients using a wire wisk.
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Reserve 2 tblsps of the flour mixture.
Then, using a pastry cutter, cut into the remaining flour mixture 1/2 c ( 1 stick) very cold butter (which has been cut into eight large pieces) until it looks like coarse oatmeal.
In a small bowl, add the 2 tablespoons of reserved flour mixture to one of the OPTIONAL ingredients, making sure to coat them thoroughly.
Add the optional ingredients gently to the rest of the flour and buter mixture.
Gently add 1/4 cup granulated sugar
In a 2 cup measuring cup, lightly beat one room temperature egg. Add to that 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and enough homogenized milk (or cereal cream) to make one cup of liquid.
Using a fork, add 1/3 of the wet ingredients to the flour,butter, optional ingredient, sugar mixture, blending gently, but thoroughly. Add the next 1/3, blending gently, but thoroughly.and the final 1/3 blending gently until it incorporated. You should still be able to see small bits of butter in the dough. Do not over mix!
Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 or five times until it just holds together. Use a VERY GENTLE HAND when kneading the scones. Pat gently into a 1 1/2 high rectangle and cut into 8 large rounds or 12 smaller rounds. Place scones in a 9x9 ungreased square cake pan. Bake until the scones are a medium golden brown. (Larger scones take longer to bake than smaller ones!) Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, before turing them out and seperating them Serve warm with clotted cream and jam., or at room temperatrue later in the day. These are best when they are eaten on the day they are made. Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Valentine's Day: The Celebration of all things Romantic

Taking down the Christmas Tree is a task that I am willing to put off for as long as possible. The living room looks so desolate without it. Several years ago, my friend the Paper Princess and I decided that we would prolong our enjoyment of the holidays by transforming our trees for Valentine's Day. It has become quite a tradition! In the fourth week of January, decorations that are explicitly meant for Christmas are spirited away and replaced by old-fashioned Valentines, glittering hearts and anything else we can find that pays homage to the Patron Saint of Love. Last year, in an attempt to return my living space to a semblance of pre-Christmas order, I replaced the larger tree with a diminuative one, which took up much less space. This allowed me to comfortably seat several more guests at what has affectionaltely been called the Bi-Coastal Valentine Tea hosted simultaneously by the Paper Princess in the East and the Scone Queen in the West . (well, as simultaneous as one can get, given that there is a 4 hour time difference between our geographically opposing coasts!) Needless to say, the invitations state that each tea is held at 2:00 p.m. on the same day!) If you promise to "blog in" tomorrow. I will include some pictures taken at our little soiree, where everyone had a wonderful time, and special memories were made.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Inauspicious Beginning to 2009

I dearly hoped that Richmond had finally escape the deep freeze. I was wrong. Last Thursday, after some torrential rain-fall, the snow finally melted, and as I looked out my window onto my soggy backyard, I spied a brilliant and inviting blue sky peeking through enticing cotton-baton clouds. The sun had finally made an appearance, and so, not wanting to fall into my usual mode of procrastination, I harnessed up the dog and set out for our first walk in over 3 weeks. Within minutes I realized that although I was dressed warmly, the wind was bitterly cold, and I was chilled to the bone. However, puppy was enjoying the walk and I didn't have the heart to turn back without giving him a chance to sniff and poke for the first time since before Christmas. After all, HE, sporting the coat that God had given him as well as his dapper Roots hoodie, was more than warm enough! So, resolutely and with a stiff upper lip (or was that the beginnings of frost-bite?) I soldiered on. All told, the excursion took half and hour.
When will I learn? Have I been away from the frigid East Coast for too long to remember that biting cold should be avoided at all costs? Obviously so! Yes, dear readers, I have been bed-ridden for four days (and counting) with Bronchitis, hoping against hope that I am not facing pneumonia. Four days of rest, but hardly relaxation! Hacking, coughing and severe sinus headache. Yesterday came the temptation to venture out to work with the British Columbia Girls Choir. (I am the director of their novice department) Although not completely recovered, I was feeling somewhat better, and according to my husband, bronchitis is not contagious., so I determined to press on, especially since our first session of the New Year had been cancelled due to bad weather. Thankfully, a call from a friend challenged the "not contagious" aspect of my malady, and with a bit of research I discovered I was, in fact, a seething cauldron of infectious bacteria. I crawled back into bed yet again, feeling well enough to watch "Mary Poppins", on DVD and sip a therapeutic mug of apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil, manuka honey and hot water. Oh yes,I was feeling better, but none-the-less I had to admit to being exhausted and much in need of further recuperation. Today I have decided to actually forgo p.j's. and housecoat in favor of warm but more socially acceptable attire. Realistically, I think it will be a day or two before I am ready to face the outside world again. This time I will remember to wear a warm scarf and and a hat!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some More Pictures from Christmas

(Left) Handmade Seashell Angel with Mustard-Seed Hair
(Below) Nativity creche flanked by Buffet lamps displaying pictures of our mothers.

(Left) Eric's Mom
(Below) Remembering Rose's Mom

(Left) Rose standing in the dinning area

Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches....

Above is a picture of this year's Christmas Tree. Somewhat simpler than usual. it is still quite lovely, and we will enjoy it well into February, when we will change the decorations, making it a Valentine Tree.

Finally, some Pictures from Christmas!

(Left) Charlie D. Dog

(Below) Dorothy surveying her present of miniature German Glass Ornaments

(Left) Christmas Dinner with Evart-Jon, his wife Anna, their two delightful offspring and our well-bleonved Dorothy

(Below) Evart-Jon and Anna

(Left) Rose and Anna B. on a post-Christmas visit. We hadn't seen Anna for almost 2 years so it was nice to re-establish contact!