4/1/11 - 5/1/11

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Tea Chat No.25 Laundry Room Solutions, Tea on the Go, Passover Seder, Grillin’ Good Recipes, Names of God Worship Banners

kids at easter Happy Easter....  From Fourteen Years Ago....
Good morning friends! I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I know we did though we celebrated it much differently than when the kiddos were young.  I've so missed everyone, but with hubby's boss here all week, I've been running quite a bit. I also drove son to college every day since hubby was working with his boss here at home. I'm afraid I had my 'tea time' on the road more than I had it at home. LoL!
What a week!  I did manage to get some more organizational projects done, learned some new recipes, and attended my first ever Passover Seder. Join me and see if you find some fun things to read. I'll be visiting you soon too to catch up on your adventures. :o)  

laundry room 2

Monday ~ How to Streamline a Laundry Room that’s WAY Too Small

I really am amazed at how little room is allotted for laundry in the average home. In a mobile home or apartment it’s far worse!

Our floorplan leaves exactly 10” of space between the wall and the dryer door when open.  We can just barely walk between the washer and air handler on one side of the room and the wall. Talk about a tight squeeze!

How I wanted to at least turn the dryer so that it’s door opened out into the  walk space. (Too much re-wiring.)

Or perhaps we could move the washer and dryer so they were both facing the floor instead of the wall. Huge headache and too much plumbing work. Not good.
Tim suggested a stackable washer and dryer. This would be fine except that they cost a fortune—about $900 to $1200.00.  Average cost on Craigslist--$400.00. Condition -- VERY iffy. No thanks!
I pondered and pondered—sigh.. another sleepless night-LoL!
laundry 2

Then it hit me! I just needed to keep the laundry on ‘short accounts’. In other words, if we gathered the whole family’s laundry and washed it EVERY DAY, it wouldn’t take up much room at all. Duhh… Wherever were my brains?
How much space does a load of laundry actually take up? Answer: Not much at all.

Linking with BTNOP Monday Metamophasis
Tuesday Tea  - Tea Time … On the Go…

Like Amy of a Tea Girl in a Coffee World, sometimes we have to take our tea where we can get it.  Her last ‘tea time’ was on an airplane!  (Any scones on that tray, Miss?) Her pictures of her daughter’s experience of flying were so full of warmth. :o)

Note: The cup above says coffee...but I assure you that  it had TAZO tea in it. :o). That's how the girls serve it at the college.
tea at college
It got me to thinking….  If you only knew where I  blog from sometimes..you’d be surprised! It’s often far from home….

At my son’s junior college… I bring strong tea from home, usually in my Starbucks cup. It’s mostly like to be Irish Breakfast tea or Earl Grey…two bags please! It’s 7:00 am!

tea at the college I know..that’s coke..but I’d already finished my tea..LoL!

  This is such a lovely place to work. Very quiet. It’s a new campus and the locals haven’t discovered it yet. Perfect place to blog. Airy… and bright… no distractions. Think I’ll have another sip…

Click here to see beautiful college grounds and flowers... 
Do you find ways to have tea ‘on the go’? I’d love for you to join me. Coffee or Tea-- I’m not particular. The important thing is that we take the time for that comforting ritual..wherever and whenever we can. :o)

Do join me for tea--we'd love to see your beautiful tea cups and settings! What are you drinking today?

 I'm linking with these lovely ladies for tea time..... 
Thanks so much for joining me! 

Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
The Plumed Pen's  Tea for Two
Rose Chintz Tea Time Tuesday
A Delightsome Life: A Return to Loveliness


 Wednesday~Twelve Colorful Names of God Worship Banners 
For the seamstresses among you, I thought I’d share the banners I sewed for our church (in a school building), Grace Community. I’ve mentioned these before but never taken good photos until this week.  We wanted to make the school feel more ‘worshipful’ by hanging these each Sunday.

Jehovah-TsidkenuJehovah Nissi banner 7

The theme of these banners are the 12 names of God as described in various parts of the Old Testament. Hubby and I researched the names and their meanings. I wrote little phrases at the bottom of each banner to summarize the meanings. Then we chose the 12 colors from the colors of the stones used in ‘the New Jerusalem’ as described in the bible in Revelation 21:19-20.
Click here to see more pix and read the 'how to' steps... 
passover seder at yacht club

 Thursday ~ A Passover Seder—from a Christian Perspective 
We celebrated a Passover Seder with my pastor friend, Lee Rushing at the Bentwater Yacht Club. It was a GORGEOUS setting!  The dinner we had  before the ‘symbolic’ dinner was delicious!

The Seder dinner was—well..not meant to be delicious but rather..meaningful. Salt water symbolized tears, bitter herbs like parsley- represent the trials of the Jewish people in slavery. And there are many more..
 seder plate 2

Lee showed us beautiful things like seder plates, a special three layer napkin to hold pieces of matzo bread, menorahs and a shofar. He taught the history of this special Jewish dinner from a Christian Seder Haggada
Click here for links, more plates and photo of the kids....
grilled sausage  Friday ~Two Easy ‘Company’ Dinners and One Scrumptious Dinner Omelet!
Got company calling but can’t spend all day cooking?  I know just how you feel! I had to cook four ‘company quality’ dinners in a row. Hubby’s boss, Dan, doesn’t like ‘casseroles’ either.  What to do?
Dinner #1- Grilled Italian Sausage, Homemade Alfredo, and Steamed Broccoli with Melted Cheese  The beauty of this dinner is that it’s quick and easy.
Click here to see Alfredo and Omelet dishes and recipes... 
  funny photo of the week

I do hope you enjoyed this week’s newsy letter.  I thought I’d end on a funny note. You never know what a bored teenager will do.  You’ve gotta watch them all the time!:o)

Linking with these Wonderful Parties!!!
Cindy’s Friday Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Melissa’s My Crafty Weekend
Raising Homemakers’ Wednesday Link Up  Deb's Fantastic Friday


Tea Chat No.24 ~ Letting Go, Office Organizing, Fabric Banner, Natural Science Museum, Lemon Roasted Chicken, and Oratory Contest

Kitty on the fence

In this week’s newsletter we have lots of fun things to chat about. What a busy week! How about you?  April is just a busy  time of the year what with upcoming graduations, vacation planning and finishing up the end of the school year.  Tax time can really ‘get our goats’ too if you know what I mean!  

tea 1

Have you got your tea cup and tea ready? Any yummy snacks or recipes to share?  I know everyone is looking forward to seeing your lovely tea cups and saucers…or would adore to check out your latest recipe. 

tea 2

Rebekah, my daughter, is house sitting and she invited me to tea on my way to a friend’s house to ‘sit in’ on their home school coop which I was considering for my son, Christian. (Yes, we ARE going to do this for next year! They use Tapestry curriculum for those interested.)  She hadn’t left for work yet and I needed to get her tax form to send off.  

tea 3
  Flowers at Terri’s house

I had meticulously ‘talked’ Rebekah through her taxes over the phone yesterday, so she gave me a BIG hug and a kiss when I walked in. She, as a rule, does NOT do this sort of thing as she is decidedly undemonstrative. But she was VERY grateful. I was so tickled. :o) 

tea 4

And the tea she made for me at my friend, Terri’s home, was lovely…and simple… fresh fruit, toasted french bread, and hot Irish Breakfast tea. It was perfect! I love how she artistically arranged the fruit. She likes those ‘little details’ that make tea special.  

tea 5

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking photos of Terri’s lovely flowers to share with Tracie’s Cottage Flora Thursday. I especially loved the orchids in the kitchen.
 tea 6
Though the flowers in huge pots on the front porch were so bright and cheery  too!I’d love to see your tea things too. Feel free to link up right here.  :o) What are you drinking today?

Linking photo with Cindy's My Romantic Home Friday Show and Tell 

Learning to Let Go may mean… 
giving others the freedom to fail.

Some friends and I were chatting this week about how hard it can be to not worry about our loved ones (in this case elderly parents). Whether they are ill, going through hard times, making wrong choices, or just heading out on their own, our natural instincts are to try to control the situation and/or ‘fix’ the problem..or even the person! 

But one lesson I’ve learned over the last ten years, is that most of us need to learn   how to let go.  Most of the time, in situations like that, no change will take place without the catalyst of ‘failure’. Certainly this was true in my life as a young person on my own.   (Linking to Raising Homemakers' Wednesday Homemaking Link Up)


office 1 
  Organizing the Office—Baskets to the Rescue!

As I was getting ready for company this week, I found myself frustrated, yet again, with the fact that the office/sewing/school/craft room is ALWAYS a mess! We do so much in this one room…and I hate to admit that it seems we all leave our stuff out when we are done with our latest project.  This whole room is  a HOT SPOT (place that tends to collect clutter like a magnet)!  Sigh..

I finally admitted to myself, that I needed a better solution. While laying in bed one night, yet again, unable to sleep, (does anyone know how to turn a creative brain OFF?), I realized what the solution might be. 

office 2

In analyzing the problem, it seemed that we just had too many different types of activities going on. We needed a storage solution that made it easy to get the supplies for each activity and EASY TO PUT THE SUPPLIES AWAY. If it wasn’t easy, I knew my worktable desk would be piled with stuff in a heart beat! Part of our problem is that many of the supplies are stored in a laundry room that is very inconvenient to access.    

Labeled baskets turned out to be the perfect solution! I already had about six blue ones on hand and for a paltry $5.00 a piece at Wal-mart, I was able to buy six more.   I decided that my desk would be put to better use storing these baskets…in plain sight…than my dearly loved homemaking and art books. These items are used on a continual basis by five busy family members. And I wanted THEM not ME to put the stuff back instead of leaving it on ‘my’ desk. :o)

BTW, I'm linking this part of the post with Susan's Between Naps on the Porch Linky Party...Metamorphasis Monday! and Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage.  Drop by and visit! You'll be amazed at all the great ideas. :o)



Is it Really Cheaper to  Do It Yourself? Sometimes the answer is…NO!  I’m so ‘in love’ with my accountant!!! No..not literally of course. LoL!  But how grateful I am to his ‘rescue’ via the telephone yesterday.  I discovered, rather belatedly, that getting a tax extension for an individual is one thing, and for an estate—it’s quite another. But to him, it was no biggy. He didn’t even charge me for it! In ten minutes, he had the necessary info and had filed my extension. I had spent hours that day just hunting for the forms! They didn’t pop up easily on Google Search, I can tell you!
I discovered Randy Cook last year while settling my father’s estate after Dad passed away. As some of you may recall, I camped out in Dallas for almost a month! Mr. Cook was dad’s accountant and was happy to help me get started on the estate settlement.

The two men who helped me most were my father’s accountant and his lawyer. They both helped me get through the morass of legal confusion and helped me get things handled as inexpensively and quickly as possible.  While working through so many issues like selling the house, repairing the foundation, treating the termites, having the floor and carpet replaced etc. I discovered a very important idea—professionals are worth EVERY PENNY!


banner 1

Making a Fabric Banner
I’ve been working on a  banner for my pastor friend, Lee, in Bentwater, and it’s coming along beautifully! I’ll be delivering it on Tuesday.  The shopping was the hardest part. I thought I’d never find the quality of fabric and the colors I needed! After two days of shopping, I found some good places—again—professionals. :o)

banner 2

This week, I purchased the trims, tassel, and cord plus a curtain rod so I could finish up.
banner 3

Using the zig-zag stitch, I sewed the top part of the fabric to the bottom then cut off the excess on the back

banner 4
 Linking to Melissa's My Crafty Weekend

A Visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Our kids, Jacob, Rebekah, and Christian (18,20, and 16)


We made a really special trip this week to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We haven’t been there since the three kids, who are still at home, were very young. It occurred to Dear Hubby that we ought to take them while they were old enough to appreciate it and still home to make it a family occasion.  Jacob will be leaving for boot camp soon and we wanted to make this last family trip together.
We’ve been going since my youngest was about 4 and he’s now 16. It’s been seven years!  We went weekly for some science classes at one time. Everyone wanted to go to their favorite spot.  I got some great photos of the precious stones and historic jewelry as well as photos of the other displays.


chicken 1

Lemon Roasted Chicken 
My friend Laurie, whose chocolate chip cookie I shared last week, brought the yummiest crockpot chicken to church this Sunday. I didn’t know who had made it but the flavor was so intense and yummy!
She said she just douses it with Tex -Mex Steak flavoring  from Krogers and lemon slices and that’s it!  We tried it out this week, and it really was perfect. Roast chicken really does need a bit of 'zing’ if you ask me. You might want to try that the next time you cook your chicken in the crockpot.   I added instant rice at the end (for about the last 30 minutes) and the tang even added some zest to the rice.   BTW, I used lime slices because I didn’t have lemon. :o)
I’m sorry I don’t have your recipes tested yet. Hubby’s boss arrived for a week long stay, so I don’t have much time. Add the banner and taxes to that and you are talking about a busy week. But I’m sure I’ll get them tested soon.  But I did add my menu plan of 'Company Dinners' right here. I thought it might give you some good ideas too. :o)


Winners: Jacob P, Christine H., and my Jacob R.

State Level Right to Life Oratory Contest
Saturday, we took Jacob to the Right to Life Oratory Contest for the state level competition. He made third place and we really thought he did very well. He was glad he didn’t win first as he couldn’t have gone to the National competition.   It was a good experience for him and we are very proud. That’s it for this season of life. No more speech and debate competitions for Jacob. But he certainly went out with a ‘bang’. :o) 


Well, that’s all for this week. I’m sorry this is so late, but with so much going on, I didn’t get to do my ‘own’ thing and had to work blogging around the sewing, cleaning, and driving.  Besides cooking, and sending out graduation announcements, our only other big event will be the Passover Seder meal at my friend, Lee’s church on Thursday night and Easter this weekend.  Gee..I better start on that post right away! LoL!  (Just kidding!)
See you next week..and have a lovely day!

Linking with
Cindy’s Friday Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Melissa’s My Crafty Weekend
Raising Homemakers’ Wednesday Link Up
 Deb's Fantastic Friday

And for Tea... 

Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
The Plumed Pen's  Tea for Two
Rose Chintz Tea Time Tuesday
A Delightsome Life: A Return to Loveliness

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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