Monday, February 10, 2014

High Tea and birthday continues

My birthday weekend was busy and I am very happy.  Dawn sent me 2 Spellbinders Nestabilities and I cannot wait to give them a try.  Jocelyn somehow contacted so many people on my Facebook page (I am guessing) and had them write their memories of me and our times together and then assembled them into a book.  It is a keepsake.  I'd love to show it to all but you know who people write wonderful, glowing things even and that would be a bit boastful. But I love each of these friends and families and loved recalling the incidents they remembered. Robert gave me a new sterling silver charm "65" for my bracelet so I think I just might be wearing it again.  At night we attended the Broadway Series performance of Porgy and Bess in Cleveland.  It was done as excellently as they do everything.  I'm glad I saw it but will never see this particular one again.  Loved chatting with my family.

But the biggest consumption of time was playing the piano and helping in the kitchen for the Lorain County Historical Society's Women's Association's High Teas.  Between Saturday and Sunday they served 4 High Teas.  People bought tickets and sat together as they planned.  Some tables were small, others huge.  High school girls and one young man served as waiters.  Everything was done so easily it's easy to see how organized these wonderful ladies are and since this happens every year, they have it all down to a fine science.  This year they wondered aloud about having a doorman and I suggested Robert because he owns his own tux.  Well, they were thrilled!  Beyond thrilled!  Later I heard there was some discussion before we arrived.  They asked Ellen, the chairman, if she's ever met Robert/seen him in a tuxedo.  Of course she didn't but when they all saw him, they literally swooned.  Not in front of him but to each other.  I am one lucky wife to have a 'looker' for a husband.  It was also nice to have him around me for the whole weekend. At one point on Saturday, with the weather as cold and terrible as it was, equipment was breaking at the mill and he had to run in for a short time between teas.  The men are used to seeing him in his suit when he has to go to work before church on Sundays. Seeing him a tuxedo really did the men in!  Funny!

Here he is sitting behind me while I played.  Isn't he a doll?  And so cute!

He really enjoyed walking through The Hickories and seeing all the fun things.  This moosehead was given to the Garfords by Teddy Roosevelt know...The Bullmoose Party?

Someone on Sunday thought he could be Arthur Garford so I posed him by the picture.  Can you see the resemblance? Well, just pretend.

Robert enjoyed opening all the little doors and was delighted to find this treasure...a fuse box with a clock and thermostat.  Vintage for sure.  Beneath this box was a radiator and when we could not tolerate the cold any longer, we would stand up against it, feet tucked under to try and warm up.

Since it was so bitterly cold (around zero), Robert didn't have to stand outside to open the doors to the ladies but he kept watch til he saw them step up onto the portico.  Then he would open the door, offer them his hand (remember, a lot of those who come are pretty old. Sunday there was a 99 year old woman, not to mention Karis Lyon who's about 85) and help them up the step.

They checked in with one of the Association ladies, in full dress of the era.  The front table had this lovely flower arrangement from Botomers.  The crystal candlesticks and fruit bowl were door prizes.  At each of the 4 teas. There were also 2 door prizes given out at the end of each program.  Mary Beth Lyon won a crystal candy dish filled with chocolates.

 Here I am playing the box piano, built in 1864.  It's a lovely piece of furniture with different wood used on the legs than was used on the box.  It's kept in tune as closely as they can by a man in Elyria who loves to work on this piano.  There's even a card stating that the Pianist was Susan Hatch!

Here's one from the media chairman and her caption:  Susan Hatch at LCHS Valentine Tea 2014: Susan Hatch of Sheffield Lake, Ohio entertained guests as they enjoyed the lovely handmade Hickories Tea and handmade sandwiches, scones and desserts.

The piano from the steps behind me. Since it was my birthday, the flowers on the left were a gift to me.  In a lovely vase as well.

Here's is a close of up the favor each lady went home with.  A delicate organdy bag containing a small tea spoon and a bag of The Hickories  Special Blend Tea...the recipe of which is never shared.
 Each table setting had to match..all the plates, cups and silverware.  The lighting is low and these battery powered lamps added a lovely glow to each table.  The napkins were a special fold so that the fork and spoon had their own compartment.  The ladies of the association had made these chair covering years ago and they are kept in a special drawer in one of the hutches in the dining room. This is the main dining room actually.
Valentine Tea 2014 Guest Bedroom: Lovely table setting in the Guest Bedroom.

 The Teas began with a program on Crystals, presented by Janet Bird who has become quite the speaker for the historical society.  She travels to all venues to talk on about 15 different topics. She used to be a Latin teacher and she's very articulate.

LCHS 2014 Valentine Tea Program: Guests enjoy listening to LCHS Education Coordinator Janet Bird’s program Crystal Reflections. Within the program was an interesting fact about The Hickories Museum. The Garford’s had lead crystal sheets ordered when they were building The Hickories for the first floor windows and doors (except the kitchen). The second floor windows are typical glass from the 1890s. Looking through them, guests noticed how clear the first floor windows were compared to the second floor.

Janet Bird Crystal Reflection Program: Janet Bird, LCHS Education Coordinator is highlighting some of the crystal pieces on display. 

 Most of the crystals on display belong to Ellen Andrews, all of the Waterford Crystals.

 This is Ellen...who besides owning all the crystal  which she keeps in their original boxes in her apartment, was the chairman of the event.  Her co-chair was Pam Monchein and sadly I missed getting her picture.  Ellen and Pam spent most of these 2 days in the kitchen...and many days and nights leading up to this weekend preparing, creating, baking.  As did Earleen..someone else whose picture needs to be gotten. She is quite the baker and did most of the desserts.  Look carefully at the area in front of Ellen and you will see the formed sugar I spoke about earlier.

 Here is one table that's filled with the lovely porcelain or china teapots.  Each table had their own teapot which was refilled as needed.  These ladies love to drink their tea.  Ellen had made over 1000 sugar pieces, in the shape of hearts and leaves and were tinted soft pink or medium green.

The tea always comes out first. 

LCHS 2014 Tea Sandwiches: LCHS volunteers prepared all the food for the teas. Each guest received four sandwiches shown in this photo (Cucumber, Egg Salad, Chicken Salad, Ham with Pineapple and Cream Cheese). They also received two scones (Cranberry Orange and Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate) and received five desserts (Key Lime Tartlet, Lady Lock, Butter Horn, Cherry Chip Rosette Cupcake and a Brownie).

 The next course were the English scones...some with chocolate chips and others with cranberries.  These were so tender and delicious.  I don't know that I've ever had an English scone in years.  I had one once and it was dry and hard.  These were served with Devonshire Cream.  These 3 are the ones I brought home...sadly, I didn't get a picture of them while served at the tea.  Worse of all, I got no pictures of the final course which were the desserts. The most delicate of pastries.  There was a key lime pudding filled tart topped with a lovely raspberry.  And when you popped them into your mouth, the flavors just exploded.  There was lovely frosted and decorated brownie squares, crescent nut horns, and the most delicious cookie that I can't even explain.  Oh how I would love these recipes.  Wonder what I need to do to get them...volunteer more maybe.
But for sure this is one organization I plan to stay with.  These women are wonderful. They are so kind and fun to be around.  Kitty Buchan pinned the correct work. They are refined.  In style and grace, as well as in conversation.  They truly are gentlewomen.

Below is Marilyn and Susie.  Susie is a lot of fun..a bit rougher around the edges than the rest but she's a worked!  And all the while her husband is in the VA hospital in Cleveland.  Yet she's still here she was when we assembled the favors and folded the napkins last month at Pam's home.  They all know how to work.
 This is Linda Greenaway. She is actually the secretary at the Historical the 2nd house they've bought and remodeled. She and Karis have been friends for year.  I know Linda by way of her daughter who went to school with my girls at Brookside. She, too, is a Sheffield Laker.  And her husband is ailing as well.  Yet here she was, on her feet for 2+ full days.
So all in all, it was a great weekend.  I am amazed that I could start out to take Karis to lunch last summer and end up going to a Porch Sale with her.  And she leads me to Ellen and these other ladies and I find myself in love at first sight with all of them and all they do.  It takes effort sometimes and time sometimes to find a good fit.  I certainly am glad I found mine in this organization.  I hope to learn a lot!  They have so much to teach.  There is a Lawn luncheon in May.  The Porch Sale.  The BBQ in the fall.  The wonderful Christmas Evening, very formal that!  I hope to attend and help at all of them.


Jocelyn Christensen said...

Wow, this is so cool! Mom, your hair looks awesome...and Dad is a real looker, that's for sure! Love you. I'll call you tomorrow!

Lin Floyd said...

what a lovely birthday time-welcome to the 60s. this year both my husband and I married for the first time so we could have been celebrating our 50th anniversary if divorce hadn't entered the!

Robin said...

Just "Lovely June"! Sooo Lovely!
You are a marvelous Society Writer!!!

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