Sometimes Is Just about The Tea & Always About God


Sometimes life isn't about fancy teacups or indoor tea party picnics, as I like to do.  Sometimes life is just so "wow!" that what you need is the essence without the fuss. You need that healthy dose of tea to get you going, and make you take a breather.  Former Jacqueline Kennedy's social secretary, Letitia Baldrige once said "Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surrounding".  Truer words have never been spoken.

Our lives right now are a little stressful as we deal with people who are unscrupulous and want to cause serious problems.  So if you find time during your prayer time to say a prayer for us, I would forever be grateful.  I also share because I believe that that the enemy is real and always trying to get us to lose our faith.

Thankfully, we are there for each other, keeping each other strong, and knowing that we are following the plan God intended when he brought us together.  So we Praise HIS love and wisdom, and HIS unending love for us.

These times reminds me of the Psalms of Ascent, especially Psalm 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore."

There is no sense is worrying (even if our human nature makes us) because the Lord has a plan to help us prosper.  And so we pray... and drink tea.

PS. Because this post is also about tea, I wanted to tell you about this delicious tea I am enamored of.  It is 'Perfect Day' from Paper & Tea.  It is like a walk in the park.  It is a white tea with elderflowers and hints of apricot. Just perfect.


You can find sharing in these wonderful linky parties: Share Your Cup, Home Sweet Home, Tuesday Cuppa TeaHome and Garden ThursdayTea In The Garden, Grace Moments,

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That Wildflower Feeling


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Happy Monday!  Wow, what a scorcher if a week it was, was it not?  At least here in the Midwest is.  And from the news, it seems the UK and other parts of Europe are also experiencing an insane heatwave.  And this really makes it hard for gardening. I find that any flower I pick, I immediately have to bring in and put in water or it will start wilting.  

My big showers have not bloomed yet-- the dahlias and the roses (except for a few blooms).  And it is expected as we are about a month behind from the rest of the country due to the eternal winter we had. We are crop farmers and our corn is behind two weeks also. It is across the board.  But back to the flowers and this week's vase.

Two years ago, my husband went a bit crazy with wildflower mixes in the ravines by the house and you never know what is going to pop there.  But it at least covers those area.  We also have a few types of daylilies growing in various beds.  And because it is so hot, I wanted a small arrangement with bright colors.  

I used an enamel cup (about 9 inches tall) as a vase, because I wanted a country feel. For the arrangement I used

  • Naomi Ruth daylilies
  • Butter Pixie lily
  • Queen Anne's Lace (not to be confused with poisonous Hemlock)
  • Bee's Friend

*** PS by the way, watch out for wild parsnip--- it is not golden alexander, as I found out. Oy...

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Crisp Whites, Pastel Pinks and Dreams of a Paris Apartment


Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.
-Alice Walker


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This quote is so perfect for today's post.  I think we can all agree the heat wave is here and seems to want to stay for a while.  I am not going to complain because here is Minnesota the winter was so long and cold that summer was all I craved during that season.  But I can say at that times it has been uncomfortable. 

So if I am not indoors, I make a point of finding shade.  But this weekend, even under the shade is warm, so I had an indoor picnic for myself.  A beautiful rose, and some sprigs of French lavender and Dusty Miller in a milkglass vase were my inspiration for this impromptu picnic.  Crisp whites always seem to provide a sensation of coolness in the hot summer days.  I used a lovely new tea set from Grace Teaware that is perfectly summer and feminine. A few Battenburg lace pillows added a spot to lean and relax. 

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For this occasion I chose a new tea from Art of Tea, called Orchid Oolong.  This tea leaves are rolled into kernels that unroll in the hot water. The flavor is so delicate, reminiscent of lilacs and has an orchid finish. I only used one tea bag because you can have a few more steeps from a single bag, and every time you get a different finish. 

I also felt like having dessert, even though I am not a dessert kind of person normally.  I made a lemon tart topped with whipped cream and berries for the 4th of July, and so I helped myself to a slice. It was perfect and so refreshing.  I love that the tea actually complemented the dessert beautifully. 

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As I relaxed with my tea, I also took some time to start a new book that I have been meaning to read.  A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable is the based on a true story about a Paris apartment that was shuttered for 70 years full of art masterpieces and antiques.  You can read the true story here.  The book follows Sotheby's furniture specialist, April Vogt, as she uncovers the beautiful items under the dust and cobwebs, and how her story intertwines with the that of the charismatic woman whose journal and letters she finds in the apartment.   So far, the story is delightful.  And it was even more, as  I sip the orchid oolong and read about the secrets uncovered in this Paris apartment. 

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Photo of one of the rooms in the actual apartment. 

You can read the true story here.  The book follows Sotheby's furniture specialist, April Vogt, as she uncovers the beautiful items under the dust and cobwebs, and how her story intertwines with the that of the charismatic woman whose journal and letters she finds in the apartment.  So far, the story is delightful.  And it was even more, as I sip on orchid oolong and read about the secrets uncovered in this Paris apartment. 

Good tea. Good book. Good story.  A perfect way to relax on a hot summer day.  


The Thrill of My First Rose


“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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Roses have always been my holy grail of flowers.  I have bought a few miniature ones from a store that I planted around the house. But never have I been so emotionally (yes, emotionally) vested in flowers-- as much as these roses.  And this is a big statement from someone who loves dahlias and the entire process, as much as I do.  But roses... ahh, roses are entirely different.  Yes, there is the romance of roses but it is about femininity, about how delicate yet strong they are.  Depending on the rose, some can evoke passion and burning love, while others remind you of delicate ballerinas at the Kirov ballet.  Others, like the ones I am growing, evoke bucolic images of English cottages, afternoon teas and the ladies of yester years.  These are the ones I love.

Taking the plunge to buy David Austin roses took some thought because they are an investment. But I did it for two reasons-- I love how beautiful they are but more importantly, I need beauty in my little corner of the world.  Have you seen the news? Flowers, especially these roses, offer me escapism from the chaos.  I love tending to them, watching them grow, talking to them (yes, I do talk to these girls), and seeing them thrive until the bloom.

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This particular rose is the Alnwick rose, named in honor of the Duchess of Northumberland who created the stunning gardens at Alnwick Castle, which include a large collection of English roses-- about 3,000 are David Austin roses.  I was a bit nervous because they came as bare root but the instructions were very detailed. One interesting note, which the roses I chose are zone 4 tolerant, this is Minnesota and the past few years the temperature has gone down to -18F.  So I do not want to risk it.  Plus in about another year, we will be building a house and I want to bring these with me.

Gosh, can you tell that I am already in love with this rose? I just know that my new found love for roses will only extend from here.  Thankfully my husband likes roses very much and humors my love too.

Do you grown roses? Any David Austin? If so, which ones?


The Wedding Bouquet ~ Happy Anniversary!


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The wedding bouquet.  There are moments in time when flowers take center stage—and for me, weddings are one of those.  The thought that goes into choosing the flowers that you will carry for that milestone in your life, will prove to be one of the biggest decisions in your life. 

Three years ago today we said I do.  And for this moment I always knew I wanted all white flowers and tulips needed to be part of the bouquet.  I was going through a tulip phase.  The final result was a beautiful array of white tulips, white peonies and spider mums, as well as Queen Anne's lace, white stock and white foxtail.  And it was perfect. It was simple yet beautiful.  But a wedding bouquet is not about just flowers—they symbolize that special moment. And the flowers speak a language of themselves. 

  • White tulips represent worthiness... because after the journey I had until that moment, I finally knew the Lord deemed me worthy to have my happily ever after.

  • Queen Anne’s Lace represents sanctuary... which is what God provided me with my husband.  He chose him for me and in his arms I felt safe and protected.

  • White mums stand for truth and loyal love... which is part of the promises we would make during the wedding vows, cemented in the foundation of our faith in God and his son Jesus.

  • White peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as good fortune and a happy marriage.  And in the end this is what we want for our marriage.  It is why we married in church.  A happy marriage that is pleasing to God and that follows His teachings.

As I carried my beautiful white flowers, I walked down the isle to meet him-- this man who is my best friend and my companion.  I remember thinking that finally, after meeting when we were in the Army, after many deployments and overseas assignments, fate finally brought us together. We were friends for almost 18 years before the time was right.  Our friendship developed into love and now we share our lives together. Funny how God works.  It is always about timing-- His timing.  And I am glad I listened to the small still voice of the Spirit when I prayed about marrying and uprooting my life to start a new one.  It has been an interesting and,  at times, challenging journey. But I would not do it with anybody else.

Happy anniversary, my love! Here is to many more!

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As I carried my beautiful white flowers, I walked down the isle to meet him-- this man who is my best friend and my companion. We met in the Army, and after deployments and overseas assignments, fate finally brought us together. Our friendship developed into love and now we share our lives together. Happy anniversary my love! Here is to many more!

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 I love my momma so much and she looked beautiful!

I love my momma so much and she looked beautiful!

 Who was a happy girl?

Who was a happy girl?