Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Willow has an interesting post about this song at the Manor.

Auld Lang Syne
(original lyrics)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’t in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid willie-waught
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye’ll be your pint’ stoup,
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

Happy New Year Year or Hogmanay from the Tea Society!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweet Rosebud

Today my daughter turned two and we've spent the day celebrating with family. Happy birthday sweet Katherine Elizabeth. This sweet song reminds me of you...

The Song Of The Rose Fairy
by Cicely Mary Barker

Best and dearest flower that grows,
Perfect both to see and smell;
Words can never, never tell
Half the beauty of a Rose --
Buds that open to disclose
Fold on fold of purest white,
Lovely pink, or red that glows
Deep sweet - scented. What delight
To be fairy of the Rose!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Wishing all of you in the Blogosphere a very Merry Christmas from the Tea Society...I will be away for the next few days celebrating with my family but will return very soon.

Blessings to all!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Questionnaire

At the Christmas Tea on Saturday, two friends inquired about a couple of ornamental candle votive covers that I had on our mantel in the parlor. I had been debating on how to display them this year so placed them there to keep safe from my inquisitive toddler's little hands.

The artwork on the votive covers is that of William Bougeureau(1825- 1905), an artist whose work I absolutely adore. With that said, it's perhaps no surprise that a few years ago when I found two of these covers with his work on them, I literally squealed (Yes,squealed) in the store and snatched up the last two. I just knew that seeing them illuminated by candlelight would be mesmerizing. The above image is his Madonna of the Roses and I didn't realize that when I placed it on my Great Grandmother's old parlor table, beside our tree, that the roses in the branches would be captured in the backdrop of the Bougeureau. I love it when unintended things like that happen.

The above is just an explanation of the photo for this post so that brings me to the title, Christmas Questionnaire. Janeen from the lovely blog, Chachaneen, posted this on her site and invited anyone interested to post their responses as well. I couldn't resist joining in and invite anyone else to do the same on their blogs.

Christmas Questionnaire:

1. Fresh Tree/Fake Tree?- I have a mixture of fresh greenery and artificial this year but to me it's no contest...Fresh! Next year, it will be ALL fresh around here and no more artificial tree.

2. Favorite Ornament- A beautiful Madonna and Child from the Vatican Library.

3. Favorite Christmas Song- Greensleeves/What Child is This?

4. Favorite Tradition- I had to add more than one..Going to Lessons and Carols and Christmas Eve Service with my family and all the wonderful baking and cooking.

5. Favorite Gift Ever Received- Shortly after Christmas on the 28th, giving birth to our daughter.

6. Favorite Christmas Meal- Baked Ham with all the trimmings and of course pecan pie and tons of tea:-)

7. Favorite Christmas Cookie- My Grandmother's Christmas Rocks and Mother's Peanut butter fudge.

8. Favorite Place to be- With my family...

9. Favorite Memory- Two Christmases ago, knowing that the birth of our daughter could happen at any time and anticipating her arrival, and always remembering how excited our son gets on Christmas morning.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie- Scrooge(1970) and It's a Wonderful Life.

Now, feel free to join in and post letting me know you've done so.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Last week Betsy at My Five Men posted an homage to her favorite version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. That classic version is a favorite with me as well but I must say that my absolute favorite version is the 1970 musical aptly titled, Scrooge, starring Albert Finney as the cantankerous old Ebenezer. I have to watch this version every year and am preparing to watch again this weekend. This version has captivated me since I was a wee girl and draws me into Dickens' London like none other. I did a bit of digging on this adaptation and found a very interesting fact about the movie score. That old familiar song, Thank you very much, indeed received an academy award nomination for best original song. And here I thought that song had been around for much longer. The scene above is where Ebenezer so jubilantly joins in on the rousing rendition of this great song as the crowd takes to the streets in a spectacular choreographed funeral march, all the while Mr. Scrooge is completely oblivious to the minor detail that it is in fact his death that they are celebrating with such enthusiasm. I might add that if you recognize the actor portraying Tom Jenkins, the character leading the rendition and dancing on top of Scrooge's coffin, it is none other than legendary British actor Anton Rodgers, former star of the British comedy series, May to December.

Below is a listing of all the great numbers in the movie:

Overall, the film was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the UK, one Golden Laurel award, four Oscars, and five Golden Globes in the U.S.A., in which Albert Finney won for The Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971. Finney was only 34 years old at the time he was chosen to play both the old miser and the young man Scrooge of flashback scenes, but his performance was widely praised by the critics and the public.

A number of well-known British actors appear in the film, such as Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley's ghost, Dame Edith Evans as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Kenneth More as the Ghost of Christmas Present....( my personal favorite ghost:^)...Rebecca)

(from Wiki)

A Christmas Carol - opens the film. It is sung by a chorus over the opening credits about the joys of caroling. An instrumental bit in the middle is a medley of Christmas Carols.

Christmas Children - sung by Bob Crachit and his children walking home anticipating Christmas morning.

I Hate People - Scrooge's song on his way home from work.

Father Christmas - a comic relief song performed by a group of urchins following Scrooge right after his "I Hate People" song.

See the Phantoms - a brief, dark song sung by Marley as he and Scrooge fly through the dark sky, surrounded by phantoms.

December the 25th - a rousing jig at Fezziwig's party.

Happiness - sung by a young Scrooge and Isabel, while they enjoy each other's company.

You...You - sadly muttered by the older Scrooge, watching himself let Isabel go.

I Like Life - belted out by the Ghost of Christmas Present and an at first reluctant Scrooge.

The Beautiful Day - performed by Tiny Tim for his family.

Thank You Very Much - Scrooge is unaware that he is seeing his own funeral in the future. He finds everyone singing and dancing on his coffin, "thanking" him for dying. This song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

I'll Begin Again - Scrooge's song of redemption when he wakes up, relieved to be alive.

The finale is a huge medley of reprises. First, Scrooge marches through the streets singing I Like Life, then dons a Father Christmas outfit and is paraded through town by the kids singing a happier version of Father Christmas. Following that is a massive reprise of Thank You Very Much performed by the entire town, delighted and grateful at the lender's profound change of heart. Finally, Scrooge goes home and speaks to Marley through his doorknocker, which the spirit had appeared in earlier. Scrooge thanks his partner for all the help and then leaves for Christmas dinner with his family. A chorus sings a reprise of A Christmas Carol as the film draws to a close.

Enjoy the clip....

Monday, December 15, 2008


( Our Christmas Card)

Last week,after posting about the origin of the Christmas card, MMM from Steamed Sponge, one of the greatest blogs around in my humble opinion, posted a request to see my card. Each year I start thinking of the perfect card around October and sometimes before. My selection this year is certainly one that reflects our life at the moment with our two young children so full of energy, exuberance, and enchantment. I must admit that I normally gravitate towards Old Master museum cards with celestial beings or the Holy Family but this year, these children peering through the window to see Santa and his sled dashing through the Christmas sky, with the sweet church visible as well, reminds me of the importance of teaching our children what this holiday truly means, while endeavoring to entertain and balance their visions of sugarplums, presents, and of Father Christmas.

Now, after adding details of the Christmas tea below, I must get busy addressing and stamping or it will be 2009 before anyone receives our card. Happy addressing!

(Christmas Tea with the Tea Society)

Saturday was our annual Christmas Tea and Tea Cup exchange( I will post my tea cup later in the week in another post). We had a wonderful crisp December afternoon and had a successful unveiling of the Tea Society's first official tea, Christmas Clove Tea from the Ladies' Historical Tea Society. This concoction has a specially blended black tea base with the addition of whole cloves. Very simple yet quite delicious and was happily very well received. Our menu began with a savory of tomato celery soup with cocktail cheddar muffins. We continued with orange glazed scones, assorted tea sandwiches, and delectable seasonal candies to end. Along with the Christmas Clove tea, we savored cups of Yorkshire Tea and Sugar Plum Spice Tea. After we enjoyed these delicacies we retired to the parlor with our trusty Lizzie, content in receiving praise and attention from each lady, where we exchanged tea cups and spent the next hour or so in great conversation and enjoying one anothers company.

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful friends. The ladies in the society are among the most generous and gracious women I have ever known. Though a couple of our cherished members were unable to attend, due to travel or other obligations, it was a lovely afternoon. I want to take a moment to recognize one of our most special members, Paula Porter. Paula has been with the Society since we began as part of the Ladies' Tea Guild back in 2003 and it was her perseverance that persuaded me to preside over our chapter of the guild. Paula was unable to be with us on Saturday but left a surprise for us. Each lady received a breast cancer angel to hang on her tree as a token from Paula who has battled this horrible disease too many times to recall. Paula is a beacon of hope and an example of profound faith and strength through the most trying times imaginable.

Paula, if you are reading this, we love you, pray for you and cherish you more than you will ever know. We are so grateful that you are a part of our lives. May God bless and strengthen you, my dear sweet friend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


From: Food History: The History of Scones

This Scottish quick bread is said to have taken its name from the Stone of Destiny (or Scone), the place where Scottish kings were once crowned. The original triangular-shaped scone was made with oats and griddle-. Today's versions are more often flour-based and baked in the oven. They come in various shapes including triangles, rounds, squares and diamonds.

Actually, Scone is the old location. The Stone of Destiny isn't there anymore. According to The Stone of Scone (reprinted from "The Highways and Byways of Central Scotland" by Seton Gordon (b. 1886)

A few miles up the river from Perth is the site of the historic Abbey of Scone, where the kings of Scotland were crowned. But the glory of Scone has long departed, for, even in the time of the writing of the old "Statistical Account"...."on the spot where our ancient kings were crowned there now grows a clump of trees." At Scone the Coronation Stone or Stone of Destiny was "reverently kept for the consecration of the kings of Alba" and, according to an old chronicler, "no king was ever wont to reign in Scotland unless he had first, on receiving the royal name, sat upon this stone at Scone, which by the kings of old had been appointed to the capital of Alba." The Stone of Destiny, now in Westminster Abbey (at the time this was written), is an oblong block of RED SANDSTONE, some 26 inches long by 16 inches broad, and 10 1/2 inches deep: on the flat top of the stone are the marks of chiseling.

Some think the word "scone" has nothing at all to do with the Stone. Some say "scone" came from the Gaelic word "sgoon" and rhymed with "gone". Others believe the name is derived from the Dutch word "schoonbrot" meaning fine white bread or from the German word "sconbrot" meaning 'fine or beautiful bread'.
Whatever the origins, there are many recipes for scones and toppings and ways to serve them. Try this delectable one below:

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cups poppy seed
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1 tsp orange peel
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut butter into flour mixture
until it resembles cornmeal.
3. Beat the egg slightly into the orange juice; add liquid mixture to
dry mix and gently shape dough into a ball.
4. Cut the ball in half, and pat each half out on a floured surface
into a circle about 1/2 inch thick, and 8 inches around. Cut into
wedges and place on a baking sheet.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Christmas cards have always been a favorite staple of the holidays for me. I love selecting special cards to send to friends and loved ones and especially enjoy the thrill of seeing the first cards of the season arrive in the mail box. It's such a joy to see how each person's character truly shines through by the cards they select. With this wonderful tradition on my mind, I want to share a bit of background information on the history of the Christmas Card. And, as a matter of fact, our first card of the season arrived today!

History of the Christmas Card
(from Wiki)
The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London, 1843, and featured an illustration by John Callcott Horsley. The picture, of a family with a small child drinking wine together, proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. Two batches totaling 2050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each.[1]

Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. Humorous and sentimental images of children and animals were popular, as were increasingly elaborate shapes, decorations and materials. In 1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America, though the popularity of his cards led to cheap imitations that eventually drove him from the market. The advent of the postcard spelled the end for elaborate Victorian-style cards, but by the 1920s, cards with envelopes had returned.

The production of Christmas cards was, throughout the 20th century, a profitable business for many stationery manufacturers, with the design of cards continually evolving with changing tastes and printing techniques. The World Wars brought cards with patriotic themes. Idiosyncratic "studio cards" with cartoon illustrations and sometimes risque humor caught on in the 1950s. Nostalgic, sentimental, and religious images have continued in popularity, and, in the 21st century, reproductions of Victorian and Edwardian cards are easy to obtain.