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Who Still Hostesses Tea Parties?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I think one of life's pleasures is visiting with friends over a cup of tea. I used to have the delicate tea cups and fancy tea pot to do just that.

But I have moved, got rid of all that 'stuff' and now my aquaintances seem to prefer a mug of coffee over the tea 'party'. (sigh)

Am I wanting to return to the childhood days of Alice in Wonderland and not see the reality of today? Why DO I prefer a quiet setting with tea over a McDonald's paper cup of coffee?

Guess I'm a hopeless romantic or some sort of frustrated Victorian-era wantabe who likes the china, linens and tea treats.

If you live nearby me, I have not gone to the Empress Hotel for the very expensive high tea experience. Would going alone seem.... weird??

Anyone out there fancy up their table just to have a wee cuppa all by themselves?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AGAWRITER 3/27/2012 9:22PM

    Sounds wonderful. There is a tearoom near me, where sometimes I go with friends, and sometimes I take a book and go alone. The owner knows me, and just starts a pot of my favorite when I come in. And I have friends I make chai for, starting with a milk infusion. No fancy cups, they have small children, but definitely the tea pot, and all the ceremony.

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IUHRYTR 3/27/2012 9:12PM

    Don't hesitate to go and meet new people while enjoying a simple beverage in a peaceful atmosphere. It does seem like all restaurants are so noisy nowadays, doesn't it? I, too, prefer a quiet place to simply talk. -- Lou

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AVANELL 3/27/2012 3:27PM

    Very interesting! I've never had a tea party. Sounds like fun, though. Hope you can find someone in your area with that same interest so you can have a friend to join you and not have to go alone!

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BELLABELLATRIX 3/27/2012 2:09AM

    I know EXACTLY how you feel! I love tea, but it's always better when you're sharing it and sadly we've become SUCH a coffee culture (I blame Starbucks)!

My tea service has more of a Middle Eastern/Eastern feel, though -spartan Japanese cast iron, or the silver pot with it's flamboyantly curved spout. I adore the Moroccan-style gunpowder green with mint, or a delicate Asian white or green.

That's not to say the Earl doesn't have a place at my table, but in the absence of many people with whom to share these tea parties, I've found that variety helps. I'll try a new blend, and convince someone else to try it and before you know it, I have them looking at tea pots, presses and infusers.

If you don't know people that drink tea, convert some, and then throw your lovely tea parties.

Mad Hatter optional ;)

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FUZZYBEEZ 3/27/2012 2:08AM

    I have never had a tea party, not even as a kid. But I do love a nice hot cup of tea. I have one of those glass teaballs that steeps about 2 good cup fulls of tea. And I found this neat place thanks to my aunt that has all kinds of flavored teas. I keep all sorts of flavors of tea on hand now....lemon, ruby mist, raspberry pomegranate, spice apple, peach, mint, plain, holiday spice, etc.

I don't really have anyone to invite over for tea either. So it's just for me. I will fix a teaball full and take it and my cup and curl up in my favorite chair with a book for the evening. Now that's a great way to spend a evening in my book.

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JUDITH316 3/27/2012 1:35AM

    I sure can identify with you, I love tea parties, I have bone china cups and a full tea service, I use them at times when I have my friend over for lunch, she is English, I also have coffee mugs and use them but I am partial to using my bone china dinner set and my tea/luncheon set...My grandmother gave me all her tea cups and saucers and I for a time collected them from whoever wanted to buy me china cups and saucers for my birthday or christmas...A little old fashioned but I love it... emoticon

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Shopping For Bulk Food

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What came to mind when you read "bulk food"? Did you imagine I was shopping for 20 cans of soup and a dozen boxes of cereal?

That would be my spouse's style. He is a frequent Costco shopper.

But that's not my style. I try to locate places that offer bins of bulk raisins, scoops of flour and unpackaged spices. Entire bulk stores were common in the previous province (Ontario) where I used to live.

Out west, I have a difficult time finding my bulk food stores. Sure, some of the grocery stores offer bins of chocolate peanuts and bulk snack food. I want 'staples'-- and not the office kind!

Today I took a special trip to top up my pantry. I am able to buy just enough to fill my storage containers and not have to store the leftover packaging.

I bought some bulk parsley, Hungarian paprika, pitted prunes, garlic powder (not garlic salt), sunflower seeds and coconut.

I found cashews for my stir fry dinners and I bought some pecan pieces for a treat I serve close to Easter.

Today's shopping at the Natural Food depot for eight items, in amounts that I can control, cost me $14.03. That's not too bad.

Do you take advantage of places that offer bulk, unpackaged food?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RICHELLEMASON 4/4/2012 12:00PM

    I don't usually, I like to know the price of things, and not get the sticker shock after, I work in a grocery store, and if someone doesn't want bulk, because cost to much, it gets thrown in the garbage, so I just buy bags, when on sale, I have bought spices in bulk and do buy nuts, at Christmas ..... our store doesn't have that much bulk to buy.....not sure if this is a trend. I see lots go out though.

Comment edited on: 4/4/2012 12:01:26 PM

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IUHRYTR 3/27/2012 9:16PM

    I don't shop at the huge stores like Sam's Club, BJ's or Costco and haven't seen bulk groceries at the regular grocery stores. Often, I hate paying high prices for individual items. -- Lou

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Springtime is Springing!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We are experiencing some troubling wind but for the most part, spring is beginning to transform our area.
We have a blossom count this month. Our residents are supposed to count the blooms on our property and call in to a central place so that a total may be made. (Then we publish it across Canada to toot our own horn.)

Today, I saw a bright yellow bush that heralds the start of spring. It was a Forsythia and I remember that colour since my earliest days! Crocus in many shades are popping up all over. Just north of my town, I have seen all sorts of pansies showing off their lovely colourful "faces".

It won't be long until daffodils are in full bloom across my territory!

Winter will have to give up to allow Miss Springtime to dance her way into our hearts again.

What tells you that the season of spring is on its way?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 3/16/2012 2:38PM

    Cherry Blossoms! We have had such an early spring that many flowers have already come and gone!!! But this year, I'll have to vote for baby chicks. We have three new chicks and a whole lot of joy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/16/2012 2:39:50 PM

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IUHRYTR 3/15/2012 11:52PM

    I enjoy spring but regret that we have had so many winter days over average temperature. Every day of cold is one more day we don't have of summer's high humidity. As for blooms, I have a five-part flower growing in the front yard. It's a brilliant orange and white. -- Lou

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GOSPELCLOWN 3/15/2012 11:34AM

    Anyone seen robins in their area yet?

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Still Learning About Massage

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sorry if I am boring everyone. I can't believe how each and every time I am giving a relaxation massage or receiving a massage, I learn something.

Last night I was the giver and one and a half hours flew by! My partner had an extremely grumpy back (lifting plywood and working in the cold) and the room was set up just the way I wanted it: we have tealights, a scent diffuser, a heat pad (for feet or the lower back) and a massage pad.

Twenty minutes before I got there, I suggested he go and use the massage pad that he has owned for a decade. On the massage table the pad did a nice warm up and a gentle manipulation.

By the time I showed up, his back was warm and starting to loosen up. Talk about an Ah-ha moment.

From 8 p.m. until 9:30, I gently moved the skin and delicately rubbed only the muscle and padded areas. I was careful to stay away from bone and thin skin areas. The music was mellow. The lighting was dim. I controlled my breathing and let the cares of the day melt away as I got a mini workout.

At the end of a workday, giving or receiving a massage is about as good as it gets!

emoticon I still have LOTS to learn, but my blood pressure is improving as well as my sleep patterns. I feel like a own a little secret spa inside my own home. Maybe I should make a wee sign for the door!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 3/7/2012 11:05PM

    Good going for sticking with this. It is a winning situation for both you and your clients. emoticon -- Lou

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Every Time I Give A Massage, I Learn Something New

Sunday, March 04, 2012

I am getting a lot out of our four lessons at the community centre. The first week I had the ah-ha realization that the pressure sweep of the hand in the massage stroke is the one that goes in the direction of the heart. That makes sense.

I received a massage on a table with the head "hole" support. Instead of the disposable tissue cover, we opted for a hand towel which is washable. Sounds "green" doesn't it? Well, I learned that the terry cloth fibre is very aggressive against my face. Ha, ha, I won't do that again.

Last night I tried to give another massage but I have stubbornly cold hands. I tried washing dishes first. I tried more hot water. I tried rubbing my hands together. Finally I just started the massage action with a flannel sheet between my partner and my chilly palms. It worked. In a very few moments, my hands were warm enough to spread oil and get the circling motions started properly.

I had basic knowledge of the names of the hand actions now too. The smooth, gentle, rhthmic stokes that start and end a massage are called "Effleurage" stokes. Imagine doing the breaststroke as if you were swimming.

In relaxation massage, the body parts receive a firmer stroke with single hand alternative palmar 'travelling' actions; think-- left, right, left, right. The palm pushes (light force) toward the heart and travels back in a loop in a lighter stroke. These have been called Single Palmar Stroking. These help the circulation and relieve some stiff muscles.

The next level of intensity is Palmar Kneading. I am learning how much force I can use on the back of a thigh and what is comfortable on the back, around the shoulder areas. If you get good at this stroke, it can even be used on a grumpy baby.

Thumb kneading can be used in a relaxing massage. Make sure your nails are short and that you don't push too hard with your thumbs. There are hundreds or pressure points that enjoy receiving stimulation but react in a bad way when the touch is too aggressive.

I have learned that the act of giving massage is very enjoyable to the 'technician'. It is not all about receiving a massage! I can slow my breathing. I can be very aware of what the muscles under my hands are doing. Your partner can be like a big Braille message! " I hurt here. I'm stiff and sore there. Don't stop."
And sometimes your hands tell you it is time to move away from this area. The message is, " This is not beneficial to either of us right here, right now."

I already knew about having the room darkened and warm. I have experienced the delicate light of candles while receiving a massage. Some people really like a chosen scent. (Some are relaxing, while others are invigorating.) Music can be a nice addition to the experience. Keep the volume soft and relaxing too.

Today's lesson is in another two hours and I expect to be giving a 1.5 hour massage AND trying to learn how to be more proficient with my hands. I am a work in progress!

Next week will be my turn to receive the hour and a half massage. I learn things while on the table too.

Next blog, I will try to share what the benefits are to receiving massage. Who needs it and when?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEADFASTNSEE 3/4/2012 5:21PM

  My friend, a Myofasial (sp?) Release masseuse, tried to give me one once! That was a painful realization that I could never be her client. You see I have spastic Cerebral Palsy and the touch was just TOO deep! She put me in Fetal position! That was my first experience with massage. I was thinking about the hot stone (offered here). Would I benefit or should I just stick with the other? I also have scoliosis and arthritis. Sparkmail me. I'm interested! HUGS Laurie

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PICKIE98 3/4/2012 3:31PM

    I have been getting hot stone massages at the local School of Massage therapy for about three years.. Nothing beats that hot stone massage,,, You are right about the pressure points:I have arthritis, fibromyalgia... The more hot stones, the better,, I do not even bother with any other kind now.. They are not beneficial to me...

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