Friday, April 20, 2018

High Tea with the Ladies

Missy Tippens

I had the most wonderful day this past Saturday. Our United Methodist Women sponsored high tea at the church for the ladies. And several men along with a teen daughter came to serve us. Such a nice treat! I thought I'd share the photos that I took (lots!). We used china that several of the women brought. So fun to hear stories of the dishes and teapots!

First, our table. Below is a photo of me (on the right) with two of the ladies.

These (below) are the dishes at our table. They belonged to the mother of one of the women I sat with.

The teapots full of hot water. They must've refilled them dozens of times!

Our first course, cucumber sandwiches and raisin bread with cream cheese sandwiches.

The gorgeous centerpieces were made by two of the women, mostly from flowers out of their yards. 

Many wore hats!

Each table had honey, lemon, varieties of teabags, cream, sugar, clotted cream and homemade jam.

Our wonderful servers at work.

One of my favorite teapots.

Some amazing pastries made by volunteers. Not pictured were scones and biscuits as well as egg salad and ham salad sandwiches.

 I just loved this cute teapot that was on display!

We recognized the servers at the end of the afternoon to thank them. They were wonderful (and probably worn out!).

I took this last shot right before I left. I wish I had used my flash to show the detail. It was made of gorgeous plum colored feathers that had been swirled into this stunning hat. The young woman wearing it said it had belonged to her great-great-aunt, who had made the hat herself. And the young woman's grandmother told her that the great-great-aunt had been a model for Coco Chanel in France! An amazing piece of history.

We had a lovely day. I'm so glad I went. I have a feeling it'll become an annual event, because everyone raved about how much they enjoyed the day.

I left absolutely stuffed, yet full also on fellowship and friendship.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

When It's Been One of Those Weeks....

My week has been spent between a Manhattan apartment housing two sons, the streets of Manhattan, finding quiet spots to write, traveling (that's what I'm doing again today, to see some cute Southern grandkids!) and the last thing I've been doing is cooking....

This is what REAL Manhattan tulips look like.... Being nibbled on by squirrels or rats or bunnies, but I don't happen to see any bunnies in Manhattan. I'm just sayin'...

And in the center of Lower Manhattan is this.... among several sweet churches, and when I went to a 5:15 PM Mass.... there were about 45 people there with me. In the middle of the week, at a time when most of the financial district wants to go home... That church had 5 Masses/day during the week....

Now that's pretty cool!

And these are NOT natural tulips, they're landscaper planted... and so pretty!

Notice that nothing has eaten these leaves, LOL!

The Tall ship in the New York harbor at the Seaport...

Gazing at Brooklyn (and Cate Nolan!!!) from the seaport at the base of Manhattan... I bought a donut from a food cart to go with me on my walk.... (Come on, we know I'm not a health nut....) And he gave me two. So I had one and shared one with a lovely homeless lady on a bench.  Who says there aren't nice people in New York? :)

The spring crews have arrived to change the flowers in MONSTER SIZED PLANTERS along the roadways! This was along Liberty Street... Or Pine.... Note the trees.... The only trees down there are ones like these. Potted in ginormous planters. These guys, a crew of six, I think, were gang-planting and mulching 1000's of pansies, a burst of color in a drab setting waiting for spring!

I told them I was putting them on the World Wide Web... And they laughed. Nice men. And when we finally got a nice day, when the weather and Mother Nature cut us some slack on Friday, look at the crowds of school kids in the financial district! Go them!!!

And the beautiful cemetery outside Trinity Episcopal Church, the famous church that overlooked war battles and has stood strong in the shadows of destruction....

Next week we'll talk about the cemetery.... the 18th century gravestones... how we take so much for granted.

So not much cooking going on. We ordered in for supper and grabbed bagels from Leo's bagels for mid-day.... and coffee.

Always coffee.  :)

I bought fruit from a fruit vendor, browsed in Dress Barn (so delightfully normal!) helped a homeless man squelch the fire in his jacket....

Yes, he was smoldering in multiple places and folks just walked on by.

I couldn't walk by. I'd like to think it's because I'm actually a human.

We put the fire out.... and chatted.

And I was amazed at how many people saw him with his coat smoldering while he was wearing it... and just gave him disparaging looks. As they passed him by...

"When I was naked, you clothed me. Hungry... you fed me. In prison and you visited me..."

So the guy's name was Mike. And he came to NYC because of a lady friend.... and he hopes to meet up with her next fall, once he's pulled himself together.

Bless his heart, may God bless him and all those struggling with the kindnesses of folks like you and me.

And that's it for this particular week.... I'm being treated to North Carolina barbecue on Friday and I can't wait! Let's see how they do it in North Carolina....

And maybe we can do barbecue comparisons between NC and our TEXAS Mindy!!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream of writing sweet books from her castle in Western New York where it is still cold and gray and somewhat sullen-looking skies...  and a weekend ice storm:

Nearly 1/2 inch of ice formed before the temperature climbed.... and then the trees shook like wet dogs in the wind, shaking off their chunks of ice!

And the monster mountains of snow lining parking lots and shelved in north-facing swales are melting.... again.

And that makes Ruthy happy!

Find her on facebook or check her out on Amazon where you can find the full line of her over 40 novels and novellas available!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Food Rut

by Mindy Obenhaus

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Today I'm here to confess that I'm in a food rut. Oh, I have been cooking, but everything's just the same old same. 

You ever feel like that? That you keep cooking the same old things the same way over and over again?

I guess I've been expending too many creativity cells on stories and decorating to do anything creative with my food. Never mind the fact that I have dozens of recipes that I've printed from the Food Network and here at the Yankee-Belle.

Yes, it's true. I'm my own worst enemy.

However, I did bake some cupcakes this week. 
Okay, actually a LOT of cupcakes, for a bridal shower at church. These were just a few I had left over.

And I've got to show you these crazy dogs of mine. 
No, that right paw is not on the floor. It's just dangling, while the other is on the window sill, beside her cheek. Still, how can this be comfortable?

And this one...

She just rolls around, waiting for someone to love on her.

So now I'm going to turn things over to you. Do you ever find yourself in a food rut? If so, what sets you free? 

Three-time Carol Award nominee, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at