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Sunday, August 21, 2016

CLEAR DAY

Luke 13:10-17New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD – Thanks be to God!
-----------------------------------
Sue and Jeff sing “On a Clear Day”

On a clear day, a perfect day, you can see forever. There's no clouds, there's no smog, there's no rain or snow or blizzard, no smoke, no bugs – there's nothing that blinds you or distracts you from seeing a great distance or something right in front of you. On a clear day, rise and look around you, you can see every mountain, sea and shore, you can hear from far and near, a world you've never heard before.....on a clear day..

On a CLEAR day; On a MONday we wash; on a TUESday we iron, on a WEDNESday we mend; on a THURSday we churn, on a FRIday we gossip; on a SATurday we bake; on a SUNday we rest.

Or maybe its laundry on Monday, making pasties on Tuesday, eating out on Wednesday playing Mahjong on Thursday, Fish Fry on Friday, Walmart on Saturday, Football on Sunday. And if you are retired, “Everyday is Saturday.”

So on a CLEAR DAY – a clear day? Let's try to CLEAR our minds of all the things that rule our lives, let's take off our blinders, and set aside our distractions.

The woman in today's Gospel reading had one day on her mind – this day. She probably was NOT singing, “On a clear day, I can see forever” because what did she have to sing about, but self pity, frustration, sadness, even despair and doubt? She must have been consumed by her inability to participate as everyone else, right? That is how we would feel, wouldn't we? And why would she even go out in a crowd? Why would she want to call attention to herself – she could save herself the stress and struggle, remorse and negative attention. She could stay home. There she could read her Bible and worship God just the same on her own.. Its this way of thinking that is implied in today's text – that the ruler in the synagogue felt she didn't have any right to come and seek healing on the Sabbath.

Whether we sit in the same place every week, or move from one side to the other, we find a place that we can be comfortable. As we listen to the scriptures being read, sometimes we've never heard it before, so we give it our attention. OR “what does this mean for me?” can be too close for comfort to our own inadequacies. If that's the case, we can identify with someone ELSE that we know who needs to hear this message, because if they did, it would surely make a difference in their life! Being able to see anothers' infirmity is so much easier than looking at ourselves. Its the way the ruler in the synagogue looked at the woman in today's gospel. Its the way we look at her too.
This text makes us think about one day, its about how we decide to have a clear day, or how or when we will interact with our Lord Jesus Christ; how we let our infirmities, our schedules and distractions become the reason to interact with Jesus. The woman comes to “the synagogue” to do what? Regardless of what others think of her she doesn't come to beg Jesus to heal her; or to say, pick me pick me, I am the one most worthy; not to get pity for the ailment that was so obvious to others; she didn't come to be seen by others. No, none of these reasons. The day at the synagogue was the woman's clear day – a time to be in the company of others and to be in communion and share with the people of God.

When we look at her intentions, despite her affliction, we have to ask ourselves if we would do the same thing. Besides a mental, physical or emotional affliction, our afflictions are our timing – our schedules. Our own distractions allow us to decide when or how we should interact with our Lord Jesus Christ. Because as much as we would tell the woman who was crippled to stay away because of her ailment and all the attention she would draw to herself, we might also get the idea that we could find any number of reasons to tell ourselves to refrain from being with Jesus, too. If we stay away because of any number of reasons, we miss out. We can seek God in this place of worship or where ever we are in our daily lives.

If you have ever known the weight of a burden or sin, that seems to be crushing down on you, one that has crippled you; and then if you have known the relief of it suddenly being taken away, you have felt like raising to your feet and shouting and clapping in praise to God, like this woman who had been healed felt, like the joy of a boy doing the zippedy doo da dance!
And when Jesus saw her, he was moved with compassion towards her because of the sight of her misery, and the fact that she was alone. (If she had stayed away she would have missed this opportunity) Jesus issued a command – “he called her to him.” He somehow got the attention of this woman, who made great effort to see him. (Others might have suggested she not struggle to get to him) Jesus might have yelled across the room, “Be healed,” but he did not. He wanted to show her his face – up close and personal.

On a clear day, rise and look around you – do you see Jesus? Jesus will get our attention. Jesus calls out to us, too, because for Jesus, every day is a Clear Day. He sees us just the way we are – with our ailments, our misgivings, our sins, when we are not looking for him, when we don't have time for him, when we don't make time for him, when we are distracted.

Have you seen Jesus my Lord – he's here in plain view.
Take a look, take a look, open your eyes, He'll show love to you.
Have you ever stood in the family with the Lord here in your midst? Seen the face of Christ on each other? Then I say....you've seen Jesus my Lord.

On a clear day, rise and look around you! Take your blinders off, get rid of your distractions! A CLEAR DAY IS A DAY WITH JESUS! Jesus offers us a clear day every day, not just Sundays, not just here in this place. A day clear of sin, a day clear of pain and sadness. On a clear day, Jesus is there for us waiting - to meet us face to face.

On a clear day, you can “Turn your eyes upon Jesus – look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

My friends in Christ - It is not the words that I say to you this morning, but it is the Word of the Lord, the Truth of God as it is in Jesus Christ!


May you discover a clear moment, a clear day with Jesus this week. Participate in worship, attend a Bible study, read a daily devotional, get the daily readings sent to you or find them on our FB page; seek Jesus in your activities in the community – Open your eyes and see clearly, and do the zippety do dah dance! AMEN

YOU'RE SO BUSY

YOU'RE SO BUSY

Its been five years since I've retired from my job as secretary.  Well, for at least a year before I retired, I was a little over booked with volunteer responsibilities.  And yes, maybe then I was too busy - that's what I told my boss - and that I had run out of reasons why I was late for work. Usually it was because I had started on a project or report before work and forgot to keep an eye on the clock.  That is being too busy.  How fortunate I was that I could retire because I had better things to do. So I did.  Now I'm not too busy, but my days are full.  

I've been thinking about writing a post on this for awhile, but didn't want to sound defensive. I guess the time has come to give my explanation. Although I don't really feel that I have to justify my time to anyone except my husband, here it is IMHO (In my humble opinion.) And maybe if you're one of the people who have thought this about me, this post might encourage you to think differently. 

My daughter and son-in-law have six children, ranging from 7 months old to nearly 12 years old. When others look at their life, they often remark, "she is so busy."

She is busy to you, because you:
Are a single person who has no kids
Are an 84 year old woman, who has been a widow for many years and can't recall being a young mother
Are someone who never drove their kids to sports events or dance practice
Are a grandparent who's kids and grandchildren live out of town
Are a parent, friend, relative or any other adult who isn't involved in anyone else's life than your own


Who thinks I am busy? someone who doesn't:
Volunteer, 
Give their time to help others; 
Spend time with their grandchildren in their home school, or with them while their siblings or family enjoys time away;
Attend funerals, community functions or worship at different churches.

Busy to me is going to bed because I've had a full day, enjoying life to its fullest. I have been through a spiritual transformation, where God has revealed his plan for my life.  Yes, it happens even at age 61. God does come first with me and how I glorify him and serve him daily.  

I love to travel, shop, sew, do crafts, have tea parties, visit with friends, send greeting cards, decorate my home, garden, crochet prayer shawls, watch TV with my husband and bike ride. I don't do all that in one day, but doing these things makes me happy!  I have the same 7 days and 24 hours to those days as anyone else.  

What do you like to do? Read or knit or quilt? Watch baseball, or take a quiet walk through the woods?  Paint or caregive?  I know some of you have had life-changing circumstances that have caused you to have much more time on your hands than you'd like. There will be time in my life when my daily routine will be much slower, and my attention span will be shorter, and it is then I will likely have slower, longer days.  But I don't want to look back at my life and wonder why I didn't try new things and fill my life with activity.  And someday I might learn that my life will end earlier than I planned. That's why I don't want to have a "I'll do it someday" list because I might not be physically capable of doing anything.  Half the fun, for me, is relaxing and taking time to day dream and plan my next .............fun time, lunch, visit with my mother, vacation, baking for my husband, and yes, day off.  Do you have "want to do list"? How about taking time to plan your next fun time!




Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Quiet Book for N's First Birthday

This is the first quiet book I made, but definitely not the last. Thank you to every one of you who inspired me to try my own quiet book.  I planned to post photos of my little granddaughter with her quiet book at the very end of this post, but they're just too cute to show at the end.  My little "N" will celebrate her Golden Birthday, one year old on the first, which will also be my 62nd birthday.



Her 3 1/2 year old brother loves the pages as well. It'll be 6 months or so before she'll understand it and then it will be fun to watch her "do" the pages.


The amount of patterns and styles and ideas are too many!!  So I used some, and added a couple of my own.  The hardest part is deciding which pages would work for your child.  OK, there's more than one hard part.  I found the process of putting the book together mentally exhausting at first.

I am a visual learner, so I had to draw out my pages and then draw what order they were to be put and how.  Once I figured out how to put the pages together - whether to use grommets and rings or sew a separate binding like making a book - I could move on to the choice of pages.

The next hard part was thinking backwards.  Here's what I mean by that.  If you are using Velcro to attach the piece to the page, you have to remember to sew the Velcro on before you attach the pieces. That might seem logical or obvious, but its not when you have already sewn the scarf on the snowman and realize you didn't put the Velcro on first.

With any new concept, it takes awhile to think about the process, but I found that once I was in the swing of thinking about attaching the Velcro first, then layering the pieces before they were attached to the page, the creativity and fun of making A Quiet Book for N began.  After I had done several pages, I realized that I hadn't stuck with my original plans.  But no problem!  No one knew but me what first inspired me and what eventually I chose.

(I'm not gifted at writing directions with coordinating photos, so please keep that in mind.)  This first quiet book has been so much fun, and inspired me so much, I have already started to make a second one, and maybe a few more.  I realized that I could make up pages with just concepts, kind of like coloring books and games, and didn't have to rely on every else's ideas.

This Quiet Book for N is for my granddaughter who was born on my birthday.  The book is for her first birthday, who will not yet have the dexterity for each page, but it won't be long.  I do hope this will be a keepsake for her, and so I designed the pages to resemble experiences I wanted her to have with me, if we lived close enough to share them regularly.

Here's what to consider:

  1. Fabric pages or felt?  I used 8x11 white felt for every page background
  2. Even or odd number of pages? This might depend on the cover and back of book
  3. Cover and back of book needed? I added the cover and back which was one piece, because I wanted the book to be covered and protected while stored
  4. Instructions for each page needed?  How? I chose to sew in a plastic sleeve with typed instructions, for an adult to read to N until she learned what to do.  The plastic sleeve could always be snipped out later.  I knew I did not have the skill to embroider words.
  5. Attaching pages together?  This was the hardest part for me. I chose to attach each 2-page section to an additional 2-page piece that matched the cover/back.  This prevented any problems with the pages being sewn back to back and over stitching where I didn't want it. You'll notice that I used the blanket stitch all the way around every page.  I felt this was needed to hide a few uneven edges.
  6. Sewn or glued?  I sewed all the pieces, but I glued some of the stitching on the back of the page to secure it, before I sewed the page to the 2-page spread.
  7. Pockets? Several pages needed pockets to make it work.  You'll have to consider this with each page.
  8. Your signature? I wanted N to know that I had made this book for her with love so I included that on the information I put in the plastic sleeve, and on the back cover. 
Refer back to this list as you look at the pictures.  Hope its clear as mud!

You will have to have the answers to these questions before you begin, so don't get yourself in a fix by expecting to throw your quiet book together in one day, or even in a week.  The majority of my project was dedicated to the planning.  Once I had the answers to the above, and chose the pages, I worked on a page a day, but you might have time to do more.

My Quiet Book for N



Once I started, I realized I had a lot of neat accents to embellish - I found the gold rick rack and the "angel face" button were meant for the pink "N."  Read #5 above for the explanation of the purple fabric.

QUIET BOOK FUN TO LEARN AND DO
Pretend that Gramma is there to share these special times with you!


PAGE 1 - CAN YOU COUNT TO FOUR?
Count the slices of Pizza. Match the pepperoni with the numbers. Mmmm – I love pizza!


See #4 above for the instructions in a plastic sleeve.  But maybe you would embroider the words, or have them done by a machine.


This also shows page two of the directions in the plastic sleeve. Note: page 1 of the instructions includes half of the book; page 2, the second half of the book.  I contemplated putting a single instruction page, both sides for each 2-page spread, but decided it was too much.


PAGE 2. COME TO TEA WITH GRAMMA SUE
Put the tea bags in the pot. Be careful, the water is hot! Take them out when the tea is done. Use a special cup. Wear a fancy hat. Its not tea without a cup or fancy hat, shown in the first picture above. They are attached with Velcro and can be interchanged.  The teabags go in the pot,  to 'steep,' and are attached to the handle of the pot with ribbon.

Remember to zip the zipper shut before you sew on the boot or it won't zip tight.  I also had to add the button to the shoe and the Velcro to the strap before the shoe and lacy sock (made out of my wedding dress sleeve) were sewn to the background.  I had planned to use eyelets for the red shoe, but for some reason they didn't work, so I hand stitched around eye lace hole.

BUCKLE, TIE & ZIP
Fancy wedding dress socks with a shoe you can buckle. Tie your running shoe. Zip your boot.


Page 4 - FIX NATALIE'S HAIR
Help her wear it straight, in pony tails, or braids. She loves her pearls.
(This is one of my favorite pages. I laminated her photo, then sewed it to a pink felt face, and then "strung" the pearls with fishing line, sewed the strand on and glued the knots in the back.)


The first of one of the four seasons pages.  We have the four seasons where I live, but not necessarily where N lives, so I wanted her to experience them all.  Here you see the pocket, needed to store the different looks for the snowman. N has the option of changing hats, scarves and even the snowman's face.


Once I laminated N's face for the hair page, I decided to do it again. I used stick on Velcro on the back of the face.
WINTER Add the snow flakes. Build a snowman. Change his scarf. Change his hat. Give the snowman a special face. Which is your favorite?


Grandpa is the gardener, and the kids love to come and pick carrots. I crocheted the basket. The vegetables are 'planted' by sliding them into a slit in the brown 'dirt' garden. The ribbon is long enough so each vegetable can be planted in any corner. I wanted to keep the veggies in the garden and not lost. So I sewed a loop of pipe cleaner for the stem, which hid the sharp end inside of the two layers of felt vegetable. Then I tied on the "stem" made of green ribbon, and finally, sewed the ribbon onto the felt background, which is actually the inside of the basket.  I had to sew the ribbon down before I added the basket.  Some of you can figure this out without instructions.  Some of you, like me, need to know step by step.
SPRING Help Grandpa John plant his garden. Carrots, onions, and tomatoes in this patch. Put them in the basket. Can you find his rabbit?


This was the first page I made.  These clothespins are the middle of the road size.  I had smaller, and I had larger.  The basket acts as the pocket for the clothes. You can see a pink shirt in the basket.  I love to hang clothes, but N. might not every experience that in her city life. The butterfly I made out of shrinky-dinks, and is for my dad, N's great grandfather.
SUMMER Can you hang your clothes on the line? The sun will dry them. Put them in the basket. Can you find Pa's blue butterfly?


What can you do for fall without making it Halloween? - I wanted N. to experience colored leaves.  It was a little bit of a challenge, but it turned out cute.  I realize that the straw will break off in time.  The eyes and mouth of the pumpkin come off, as do the leaves, which could all be interchangeable for a real funny pumpkin and tree.

FALL The leaves are changing colors. Help them fall off the tree. Can you give the pumpkin a funny face?

I wanted to make sure that N. remembered that Christmas is more than presents and decorations, so she's getting a 2-page spread for Christmas.  The left hand page is my own design.  The star comes off.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph are in the gift box.  Read below to see what the heart is for. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS
Look in the gift box. Find the star and put it in the sky. Where is Jesus? Find Jesus with his Mom and Dad, Mary and Joseph. Put Jesus in your heart.

The garland is fancy Christmas trim/ribbon, and the loops are repurposed jewelry.  I stuffed the tree to give it depth.  You can see the extra width of the purple felt which is the back cover on the other side. 

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
Find the star, angel, bell, gingerbread men. What does it say on the bottom of the tree? You can put the garland around the tree and the star on top.


 Now you can button the back page around to the front, and the book is enclosed in its own shell!


(oops!  photo is sideways, but you get the picture!) Then I'll sign my name after this sentence on the page of instructions - my name in my own handwriting.

MADE JUST FOR YOU WITH LOTS OF LOVE 
Now its your turn!  What fun things do you want to share with a little tootsie? Your imagination will take over once you've started to dream about it - I promise! Stay tuned for a post on book #2 which needs to be done in a few weeks, and book#3 for Christmas 2016.  Whew!  I'll have a little more time to pull that one together.

Thanks for stopping by and looking at A Quiet Book for N.  I know you'll have fun putting yours together - you can do it!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

MY MISSION FIELD - REVEALED - WE ARE CALLED!

After I wrote, "My Mission Field" on March 25, 2015, I continued to seek God's will for my life on this new journey. The "My Mission Field" post ended with the suggestion that joining a new church was on my mind.  My husband and I transferred our membership in December of 2015 from the Lutheran Church where six generations of my family have been baptized to another Christian church within my own hometown.

My Mission Field - Revealed is the result of praying and listening, and answering the Call to become an ordained deacon in the Presbyterian Church.

Twenty-five years ago when I sought God's direction for my life as a missionary to Tanzania or Papua New Guinea, I felt he was responding in this way: that if I couldn't minister, be a missionary to the people in my own town, what business did I have taking the Word of Jesus across the world.  I was disappointed with that response to my prayer, because I had wanted to be a missionary since I was a child.

So I continued to seek God's will, looking at going to seminary, but I didn't have enough education. I enrolled in our synod's Lay School for Mission, training people for lay ministry within their own church or to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the Bible. During this program, my faith was challenged and inspired both by the pastors who taught the classes, and by my fellow students as we shared our faith stories.  I remained active in my church, serving God with my many spiritual gifts.

In "My Mission Field" I experienced a stirring, a nagging even, by God to serve him beyond the walls of my own church and to my community.  I didn't know at first what this meant.  I began worshiping at the United Presbyterian Church where I had served as a lay minister off and on for over a year in between pastors, and it is here where I felt God was opening my mind and heart towards something new.

I asked many questions which mostly came from my life-long knowledge of being a Lutheran, from recent confusion of what that really meant in today's world, and what it meant to be a Presbyterian.  You see, I started to realize that God's plan for me had to do with serving my community somehow through the United Presbyterian Church, but exactly how I didn't know.  I did begin to participate in the needs of the Salvation Army, and with others from this church, helped serve meals at the local homeless shelter.   My questions were many and kept coming, as did the tears of joy.

Then at the annual meeting I was nominated to become a deacon.  I accepted the nomination and was voted in.  Next began a six-week study course with ordained deacons, and with another member who was going to be ordained an elder.  And then it happened.  Many of the questions I had as a child, or as a teen, or over my entire life so far were answered.  The more I studied, the more answers were revealed.  Could this be, I wondered?

 It's not that I had chosen to NOT be Lutheran; or that I had chosen to become Presbyterian.  Now My Mission Field was being revealed to me - as an ordained deacon I would join the others in sharing the salvation of Jesus and serving him in the church, the community and the world.  Deacons are the caring arm of the church.   This is what I have been doing my entire life - looking out for others.  At one time, I tried not to be that way, but it is who I am.  And God has revealed to me - 25 years later - that I won't have to be alone in my efforts to serve, that he has put me right where he can use me to share his love with the world.

When asked why I considered accepting the nomination to be elected and ordained a Deacon, I can honestly say it is because God has called me to serve my community in this way.  By the time you read this post, I gave been presented to the Session members of the church for dialogue and questioning.  I counted on prayers offered on my behalf, which brought peace and knowledge.  Upon being accepted, I stood before my congregation, family and friends on Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the church, to take my vows and make my promises, with God's help. I will serve God as a Deacon for the rest of my life.

So much has fallen into place, and somehow so many worries and concerns no longer matter because as Isaiah 56:6 states, I have sought the Lord while he may be found, and called upon him when he is near, realizing that my mission field has been revealed!

This is also a scripture that keeps coming into my mind:

"Jeremiah 29:11-14 
"...For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

Listen online or YouTube to this music by David Haas, which we sing at church.  So often it is what I am feeling in my heart, hope it brings you some joy and inspiration as well.

1. Come, live in the light! 
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom, 
to live in the freedom of the city of God!

Refrain: We are called to act with justice;
we are called to love tenderly. 
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.

2. Come, open your heart! 
Show your mercy to all those in fear! 
We are called to be hope for the hopeless, 
so all hatred and blindness will be no more!

3. Sing, sing a new song! 
Sing of that great day when all will be one! 
God will reign, and we'll walk with each other as sisters and brothers united in love! 


Here are some of the Ordination and Installation responses:

............I trust in Jesus Christ my Savior, Lord of All, and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.............I will fulfill my ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ under the authority of Scripture...............I will seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and love my neighbors and work for the reconciliation of the world.........I will pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination and love....and be a faithful deacon...........teaching charity, urging concern.......directing people to help the friendless.......and to show the love and justice of Jesus..........

Finding my calling, and knowing it, is so special.  There are no words to describe this contentment in my soul.  Its not an end, but a beginning.


The following words of love and support are so meaningful.  

From my former pastor, "Congratulations Sue! May God bless continue to bless you in this new vocation.

From friends:  "Congratulations. You will be in my thoughts and prayers."  

"How wonderful for you.  Your beliefs are strong.  I know you will be a wonderful addition to that service."  

"It would be an honor and a blessing to share this day with you. I will pray for you, and have complete confidence in you and this journey."

"So happy for you. God has just gained a great evangelist and a wonderful friend to all who enter the doors of your church!" 

" I would be honored to be witness to such a event! "

"So happy for you."

I received a handwritten note from Martha and Swen of the church I spent the majority of my life worshiping in:

"We know your decision was not made lightly.  We wish you the very best in your new calling.  We will always welcome your visit.  May your journey be all that you hoped it to be and may your many talents be used fully."

To my pastor and fellow deacons, members of my congregation, personal trainer, family and friends:  I am so thankful for the role you've each played on my journey, and now my mission field that has been revealed.  I will, with your prayers and the help of God, serve my community with the love of Jesus from this day forward.

Thank you for sharing in my event.  I pray that you will seek God's will for your life and how you can use your spiritual gifts to serve him.  May God bless you!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

TEA at the AYLESBURY TEA ROOM in LEESBURG, VIRGINIA


I first visited Aylesbury Tea Room five years ago, on the day my daughter Katie picked up her wedding gown at the shop across the street.  It was the same year that another girl named Kate became a bride, pictured below with her prince.

                                   

Every year when I visit my daughter Katie, I hope we'll go back to that tea room.  But every year for four years, she's reported that it was closed.  Little did we know that the Aylesbury Tea Room had moved one block over due to remodeling being done in their building.


How delighted I was to know that this year's visit would indeed include the Aylesbury Tea Room. But on this occasion, we weren't picking up a wedding dress. A four-year old prince and young princess were joining us for tea.


Now I think I have some experience with serving tea, and taking tea. I've served tea to more than 85 ladies over the past six years in my home.  I've visited tea rooms in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula; Wisconsin's Door County;Mt. Dora, Florida; Carlshend, Michigan; Chicago, Washington D.C. and Leesburg, Virginia. From a small town tea shop to a Russian Tea Room, and many others in between, each one I visited had its own ambience and menu.

Visiting the Aylesbury, and with two small children, was like being welcomed home.  Our tea time at Aylesbury was welcoming and relaxing, tasty and delectable, and everything and more I've dreamed of experiencing once again.





Menu
Cream Tea
A pot of traditional English Tea served with a homemade scone, Double Devon cream and 
strawberry preserves
$10.95 per person
Full Afternoon Tea
A Pot of Traditional English Tea served with an assortment of savory finger sandwiches (smoked ham, cheese 
and tomato, cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise), homemade scones with Double Devon cream and 
strawberry preserves a selection of sweet treats and fresh fruit.
$24.95 per person
Royal Champagne Tea
A glass of  Prosecco with a Pot of Traditional English Tea served with an assortment of savory finger sandwiches 
(smoked ham, cheese and tomato, cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise), homemade scones with 
Double Devon cream and strawberry preserves a selection of sweet treats and fresh fruit.
$31.95 per person
Young Lords and Ladies
(10 and under)
A choice of tea, juice or milk, and an assortment of finger sandwiches, sweet treats and fresh fruit.
$13.00 per person

Cocktail Sauage Rolls
$1.99 each





See if you don't agree that this is a tea room that you'll want to visit, and not just once. I recommend it!  Aylesbury will be part of my annual visit to Virginia.




Whether there's two of you..........


 ......or six or eight...........


..........you and your friends will be accommodated in beautiful surroundings at Aylesbury Tea Room.


The owners of the Aylesbury Tea Room find this cottage more feasible with the kitchen being located close to the serving space.   The photos below show the second floor space, filled with beautiful accoutrements to embellish your own tea corner or to give as a gift.  I could see myself curled up with a cup of my favorite Plum Deluxe Tea and Tea Time Magazine. If you ever imagined walking into a page of a magazine, this is it.










Every corner of this beautiful place was so elegantly decorated.  Even the powder room was inviting and comfortable.


 Don't forget to browse in the gift shop for tea time accessories or jewelry as you are checking out, and make sure to pick up some clotted cream!   When are you going to the Aylesbury for tea?







Saturday, May 7, 2016

THE WOMAN YOU CALL YOUR MOTHER

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to my mother Pat; to my former mother-in-law Elaine, who is 100 years old; to my mother-in-law Ida, may she rest in peace; and my daughters, and daughter-in-law, and friends and family.  Our lives have been blessed!

This is my Aunt Gladys, who was my Godmother.  My parents chose her and my Uncle Olaf, (over 60 years before "Olaf" became such a popular name after Disney's "Frozen" film.) Uncle Olaf passed away when I was five, but the relationship I had with Aunt Gladys lasted 57 years.  I was truly blessed!


Perhaps you weren't blessed as I was to have a mother, and an aunt who was like a second mother to me.  Perhaps your relationship was stormy, or you have no memories of your real mother. Perhaps you have longed for, prayed to be a mother, but your prayers seem to go unanswered.


Or maybe you never wanted to be a mother at all.  I pray that there has been someone in your life who has been a mother to you, or that you can mother in return, if that is your desire.  And perhaps the only true motherly relationship you've had is with Mother God.




YOUR MOTHER is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.  She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself.  She's the cool hand on your brow when you are not feeling well.  She's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.  She's the sound of the rain that hulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.  Your mother lives inside of your laughter.  She's the place you came from, your first home, and she's the map you follow with every step you take.  She's your first love, and your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you, not time, not space, not even death.
                                                                                                                                  --Unknown


May you who read this be blessed this day.