Friday, December 9, 2016

Tea in the Library #75 Tiramisu Cookies Christmas Tea

Spode Christmas Tree
On Christmas Day at half past three, Brew yourself a cup of tea. I'll think of you,
You think of me
While sitting 'round the Christmas Tree.
- Anonymous


What are you baking up this Christmas?

Tea in the Library #68


“There was a teapot, in which Mma Ramotswe -- the only lady private detective in Botwana -- brewed tea. And three mugs -- one for herself, one for her secretary, and one for the client. What else does a detective agency really need?”
Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Tea in the Library # 69

“... they always had tea in the kitchen, much the nicest room in the house.”
Flora Thompson

My neighbor Grace has come for a  visit.
 In the summer we sat in the garden
and never tired of the blue sky.

 Now, we are cozy in the kitchen, baking a cinnamon streusel cake.
There is time to place ingredients in small bowls. There is time for Grace to pour them carefully into the mixing bowl. We take each step slowly,  There is no hurry. Today, my time is hers.
I felt joy teaching small hands to do these tasks.
That time passed so fast.
 I breath deeply and exhale.
Shouldn't we treasure the slow moments at the far end of life? 
They go so fast.

 While the cake bakes we share a blueberry muffin and tea.
I am thankful for this gentle company,
 Happy to bless, and be blessed by those around me.

Wishing you a blessed Week

Tea in the Library # Snowy cottage

Check out the deal on Lighted Snow Capped Cabin Lighted Canvas Art - 18 x 24 at Battery Operated Candles:

There's snow on the fields,
And cold in the cottage,
While I sit in the chimney nook
Supping hot pottage. -Christina Rossetti*


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tea in the Library #73

“... they always had tea in the kitchen, much the nicest room in the house.”

Wooden Shoes at Christmas

The  wooden shoes were nearly black with age. My grandmother said they had belonged to her grandmother's mother, and  to the ancestor who lived on the barge that was poled along the coastal waterways and finally tied up near Swap Point on the Barnegat Bay.  I couldn't imagine a grown up with feet so small.   I had a pair of my own which were painted a bright yellow and I loved squelching up and down the muddy garden rows.

On Christmas eve the shoes would be placed on the front porch and filled with carrots for Santa's reindeer.

Time travels

The funny old silver spoon,  tea, and the can of evaporated milk.  They are instruments of time travel. They conjure my grandmother’s laughter, my mother in a rare moment of repose.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tea in the Library # 72

I. At Tea

THE kettle descants in a cosy drone,
And the young wife looks in her husband's face,
And then in her guest's, and shows in her own
Her sense that she fills an envied place;

And the visiting lady is all abloom,
And says there was never so sweet a room.

And the happy young housewife does not know
That the woman beside her was his first choice,
 Till the fates ordained it could not be so....

Betraying nothing in look or voice
The guest sits smiling and sips her tea,

And he throws her a stray glance yearningly.”

Thomas Hardy, Satires of Circumstances: Lyrics and Reveries with Miscellaneous Pieces

Image credits

Have a blessed week!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Tea in the Library # 71

'I take a few quick sips. "This is really good." And I mean it. I have never tasted tea like this. It is smooth, pungent, and instantly addicting.

"This is from Grand Auntie," my mother explains. "She told me 'If I buy the cheap tea, then I am saying that my whole life has not been worth something better.' A few years ago she bought it for herself. One hundred dollars a pound."

"You're kidding." I take another sip. It tastes even better.” '
Amy Tan, The Kitchen God's Wife

Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tea in the Library #70

"A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."
Junot Diaz,  Professor of Writing, 
Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, 2008

I love to write!
And that's what my recent blogging hiatus has been about.
Writing book length fiction.
 My posts will be short and sweet and infrequent because I'm choosing to visit more than post.
 I just hate to miss a thing!
Have a Blessed week!
 Do you have a story you'll write 'someday'?  
I want to tell you about
 a go-at-your-own-pace workshop I've been doing.
It's called The Plotting Workshop (Makes sense, right?)
I've been happy with the workshop and hope if you have ever thought about writing a novel you'll take a minute and check it out.
You can find out about it here
I will be starting a year long course called, A Novel Idea, in April.
 You can learn more about the course and it's leader, YA author Shaunta Grimes, at 

I'll be visiting these great Parties. Hope to see you there!

Join Us for Share Your Cup

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

 Although I will be visiting
I am taking a break from posting.
See you soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgivings!

Wishing you a day of peace and plenty.


Visit me at my Christmas blog
Susie's Christmas Cottage 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Memoirs of an Eclectic Shorebird:Thanksgiving Joy. Mid 1960s.

Thanksgiving. Mid 1960s. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and March of the Wooden Soldiers has been watched.The high school homecoming game has been played and lost. Dinner has been eaten, toddlers at the children's table, older children around the coffee table. It doesn't take much urging to convince a couple of the older cousins to take us youngsters down to the high school fields so we can examine the smoldering remnants of last night's homecoming bonfire.

Oh the glamour of older cousins with their peace signs and long hair, fringed jackets and flannel shirts, love beads and bell bottom blue jeans. We skip along behind our slim hipped and hip teen cousins like country mice following the Pied Piper.   Occasionally we  stop and collect acorns or a very fine pine cone, which our older cousins dutifully admire. Impossibly kind, these cousins are worthy of our devotion. We worship them just slightly less than Santa Claus and Superman.

 In our neighborhood gaudy mums and pumpkins brighten the porches.  Curbside, leaves are heaped in piles waiting to be burned. (When I think of Autumn and childhood I see old men in plaid wool coats and winter hats with ear flaps standing guard over a smoldering pile of leaves.) The leaf piles are huge to us children. We leap into the mounds of orange,red, and rust. We wade through knee deep streams of autumn color releasing the scent of leaf mold into the cold air.

 Back at the house we pour in, red cheeked and sweating in our heavy winter coats. We enter our little yellow cottage, the one my father built, on a wave of fresh air tinged with the scent of wood smoke, flooding the room with high pitched chatter, all talking at once.

While we are gone the dishes have been done, and four generations of relatives are crammed around the kitchen table. They squeeze in tight to make room for  neighbors and more relatives who arrive for dessert.
 There are pumpkin and mince pies. These are homemade pies. They are heavy homely pies, the edges pressed down with the tines of the fork the way they have always been made in our family.
  My little brothers are so proud to have helped they describe in excruciating detail  scraping the inside of the pumpkin, carrying of the 'pumpkin guts' out to the compost. They eat two pieces of pie apiece. I have been wishing for fancy bakery pies, ones with perfect crimped crusts that are carried home in  boxes tied with red and white string.
 I think back to the day the pies were baked. Sun streamed through yellow and white gingham kitchen curtains .  A Del Shannon song was playing on white Bakelite radio on the counter. My beautiful mother, in pin curls and penny loafers,  sang along as she dumped the pot of cooked pumpkin into her big yellow mixing bowl. My brothers climbed onto the counter. They were still for the moment and quiet, paying rapt attention to the pie making process.
I look at our homemade pies. In retrospect, the store bought version seem meager and anemic. My dad takes a bite of pumpkin pie and declares it the best ever made. I think so too.
The day is winding down. The little ones are growing cranky. Grand parents and great grandparents are ready to leave. My brothers and the other boys, who have been well behaved all day, are getting rambunctious.

  My mother settles us at the coffee table with red and green construction paper, white paste, Dennison's Christmas seals,and blunt tipped scissors. It is time to make our paper chains. One link for each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. Each evening before bed we will tear one link from the chain until there are none left. The chains grow longer and longer.
Soon we are not tall enough to hold them off the ground. And then our dad  holds them high over his head and still the last links brush the ground. Christmas is never going to come, we moan. It's so far away!

 And to us the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas is very big. So much will happen between now and then. The Advent wreath must come out at church, and week after week, another candle lit.

There are hundreds of math problems, vocabulary words, and geography lessons between us and Christmas.  There will be a school recital, and a Sunday school pageant. There will be songs to learn, and verses to memorize.  The first Christmas special airing in ten days is barely a flicker of light on the horizon. Christmas is out there, in the vast reaches of time and space but it is too far to comprehend.

 We drag our paper chains into our room . We say our prayers, climb into bed. It has been a wonderful day and we don't want it to end. "Wait," we cry. "I want to tell you something."

There is nothing to say, except goodnight but we hang on to them for as long as we can.  None of us  know how fast the decades will pass and that in fifty years we will still hang on to them as long as we can, "Wait," we will tell them at the door, and on the phone. "I want to tell you something."
"Tell me in the morning," is always the reply, their promise to be with us tomorrow.

Mom and Dad loop the paper chains over the ends of the curtain rods. We drifted toward sleep, hearing their voices, soft in the other room. We fall asleep watching the paper chains  in the moonlight. They hang there in the dim light, the promise of something good.

Wishing you all a blessed and healthy
God Bless those serving our country
God Bless America.


Join me at my Christmas blog
for holiday related posts
Susie's Christmas Cottage

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