Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Hello May!

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abe Lincoln

Hello friends! How is everyone doing? I hope you all enjoyed Mother's Day. 

It is the month of May and we just finished a week of celebrations although we couldn't go any where or do anything because of all the restrictions in place.
May is usually a busy month for us because we have three birthdays, two anniversaries, and Mother's Day going on. But we chose to make the best of it and we plan to celebrate later when the restaurants are open again. Hopefully that will be soon.

Hubby had to work on Mother's Day; first time ever! But our son who lives here on PEI was able to come over and spend the afternoon with me. It was the first time we had seen each in three months. So it was very nice.

I just had a long bout of flu so dear hubby insisted that I NOT BAKE him anything for his birthday. He made it very clear! The bakeries are not open either so I couldn't get him anything from a bakery.

Well, I was determined to make him something. {I don't always do as I'm told.} I am determined, not stubborn! But yes, I can be stubborn too but sometimes that can be a good thing, especially if you call it gumption. *giggles*
He doesn't care for cake that much and I have always made him apple pie for his birthday because it is his favourite. Alas, I cannot peel an apple {or potatoes} any longer because of my hands. So, what to do? I was determined to make him something. I mean, it's just wrong not to have something special for one's birthday, isn't it? 

Nothing is impossible to a determined woman. ~ Louisa May Alcott

So, I decided, I would make him his favourite cinnamon rolls and stack them on a plate like a cake, drizzled with icing. I could at least do that!

When he arrived home from work on Friday which was his birthday, he brought home a chocolate birthday cake that one of his co-workers had surprised him with. It was shared with the staff but there was still half a cake left when Hubby brought it home. I figured enough sugar had been consumed that day so I didn't drizzle the icing on the cinnamon rolls after all. He enjoyed them just the way they were.

My Anniversary roses. 

Hubby couldn't get my favourite roses because the flower shops are closed so he had to take what he could get at the grocery store. He chose the fuchsia because they reminded him of my wedding outfit. They look more red in the photo but they really are fuchsia.

So, I set a little tea out with my hubby's cinnamon rolls. 
Or what is left of them! Personally, I prefer cake but it was his birthday.

On the table accompanying the posies are three different Royal Albert Old English Rose teacups. Two I found in antique shops several years ago. The heavily gilded one on the far right was gifted to me by my beloved Auntie P from her collection when she downsized. 

I love that although they are all the same pattern, they are different.

When your day seems topsy turvy 
and as stormy as can be,
There is nothing quite as tranquil 
as a nice hot cup of tea. ~ unknown
I love the brushed gold trim!

Once again, I must apologize for the dark pictures. It began raining right after I set the table. ugh!

The teapot was the last one Hubby gifted me with for Christmas a few years ago. I am no longer collecting unless I see something that captures my heart and then I will give one away to make room for the new one. This one is New Country Roses made by Royal Albert and it is a lovely shade of pink.

Don't you just love pretty china? Right now, with everything that is taking place, it is lovely to be able to set out some beautiful china pieces. Makes one feel a little pampered and we really could use some pampering right now, couldn't we?

May has been a cold month so far and it plays havoc with my body. I pray the warm weather  begins to move in soon. It's funny how down everyone seems when the weather is cold and raining as it has been here lately. Hubby went to the grocery store on the weekend and he was  humming a song while in the pharmacy. The druggist behind the counter then started humming the same song. Then they looked at each other and started to laugh. The druggist said Hubby was the first one to come in humming that day. That's my Hubby! Always happy, and bringing a little joy wherever he goes! 

I said all of that to say, that the past few months have been difficult in so many ways. There have been tragedies both in my own life and in the lives of others. The weather is not cooperating and the cost of everything, including groceries, has gone up. It's down right depressing! But, if you have someone in your life who loves you, if you have food in your fridge, and you have a roof over your head, then it's not that bad after all, is it? It can always be worse!
Your attitude goes a long way in keeping your spirits up and planting joy in your heart. So, keep the faith, keep looking up, keep counting your blessings, and keep smiling, even if you don't feel like it. Put on some music and sing along. Get some exercise and take one day at a time. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel; there always is.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melanie Beattie

Thank you dear friends for visiting today and God bless you! 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Keeping Busy

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. ~ William Arthur Ward

Hello dear friends! I have been trying to stay busy now that the flu bug has finally left me. 
I have been cleaning my teapots that are on display and my silverware. The silverware in particular, is a lot of work.

I have a few of these wee silver tea spoons. Don't you just love little spoons? Do you collect them?

Sorry, my camera isn't working at the moment so I had to use my phone. The pictures are a bit cloudy. 
The spoon on the left is part of a set of eight which is part of my mother's wedding silverware; Evening Star. The middle one I found at an antique shop, and the one on the right was one my cousin gave me from her collection. I seem to favour that one because I use it more.
Beautiful pink tulips brighten up the room.

Time for a break...
The teacup below is Royal Albert but I don't know the name of it.
This cup and saucer is made by Aynsley. It has a crocus shape and is said to be the pattern Princess Diana had chosen. I don't know whether or not that is true. But it is a lovely thought, isn't it?

Both teacups are so dainty with rose buds sprinkled all over them. 

A piece of strawberry swirl cheesecake with tea is a nice treat amidst all the polishing.

The covid-19 virus is keeping many of us home these last few weeks so it is nice to have something to focus on while being housebound. I know many of you have your gardens to tend to.

As you know, I lost my brother less than a month ago and now there is another tragedy so my heart is heavy!

Here in the Maritimes, particularly in Nova Scotia, and indeed all across Canada, we are saddened by the tragedy which took place over the weekend when a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage, taking the lives of so many innocent people. It is the deadliest shooting in Canadian history and we are all terribly shocked and saddened by the loss of life. 
My father's family is from Nova Scotia and most of them still reside over there. I spent many summers there as a child. Thankfully all of my Nova Scotia family is safe.

It is heartbreaking that such a senseless act could take place in this usually quiet seaside province. Families and friends are in mourning and we have lost yet another RCMP officer. It seems the world has gone mad in many ways, and we are shocked that this could happen in our little corner of the world where such things normally don't happen. God bless and comfort those who lost family members and friends!

It is a beautiful spring day and our little feathered friends are busy at the feeder in our back yard. They have no idea that the human race is isolating themselves and in mourning. Watching the birds fly to and from the trees to the feeder, brings me a little bit of contentment in the midst of all of this. I am looking forward to opening the windows soon so I can hear them singing. It is a bit too cold yet, but soon.

How are you keeping busy, my friends? 
I pray all is well with you and your loved ones. Please stay safe and enjoy the simple things around you; a lovely flower, the sound of a bird singing, the laugh of a child. There are so many beautiful things that can make us smile. Life is still a beautiful thing when we count our blessings.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass so fresh and sweet;
For song of bird and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear and see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee! ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Saturday, 11 April 2020

A Quiet Easter Weekend

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here
Before the world began

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders
The world has ever known
Above all wealth
And treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure
What You're worth

Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all ~ Michael W. Smith

I love that song! Happy Easter weekend, dear friends! Thank you to everyone who visited me and left such lovely and comforting comments on the passing of my beloved brother. It can be a lonely time when you have lost someone you love and you cannot be with your family or friends. So, I thank you so much for caring enough to pray for me and my family.

I am still grieving for my brother but it is getting better. Life is hard for everyone right now with the self isolating and the covid-19 virus spreading. These are the days, perhaps more than ever, when we should focus on Philippians 4:8, "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are right, pure, lovely, admirable; if there is any excellence or anything praiseworthy, let your mind dwell on these things." When we focus on these good things, our spirits are lifted and we are reminded of all the blessings God still pours out upon us. He is in control, and He will look after us!

I have also been fighting a flu that comes and goes so I didn't get any pictures taken for my post but I will share some from an earlier posting.

My tea table is set with a favourite tablecloth and a decadent dessert; banana split cake. 

This adorable bunny was a win from an artist blogger several years ago. I love the roses she painted on the bunny! Thank you, Celeste! The bunny comes out every spring at Easter time.

Royal Albert Lavender Rose is a pattern I started for my mother many years ago when I worked at a jewelry store. I learned about china and many china patterns there. When my mother was through with it, she passed it down to me and I am happy to have it. Over the years she acquired eight place settings, the tea set, cake plates, salt and peppers, as well as other pieces. I don't use it often but the tea set is always sitting out and I am thankful to have all these pieces in my cabinet.
My favourite blush roses from another occasion. 

Hubby didn't get me flowers for Easter this year. No flower shops are open although one can still find some posies at the grocery store. He surprised me with a comfortable pair of sandals instead. A pair of sandals to walk beside him this summer, should we have the freedom to do so! I pray that we do.

Reminds me of the old hymn, "In the Garden" by C. Austin Miles, 1912.

"And He walks with me, 
And He talks with me, 
And He tells me I am His own; 
And the joy we share as we tarry there, 
None other has never known."

Have a beautiful Easter weekend, dear friends. Even though we cannot spend Easter with our families, unless they live with us, we can be thankful for what our Saviour did for us. It is a time to reflect on God's love and His sacrifice. Tomorrow is Sunday when we celebrate His resurrection. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we can still celebrate and be filled with joy! The Lord bless you all and stay safe!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 30 March 2020

It's Hard to Say Good-bye and Feeling Blue!

Hello my dear friends! Before I share my tea time with you today, I have some sad news to share.

The past week has been a hard one. Last Tuesday my brother, Dennis, who lives in Indiana, was taken to the ER with pneumonia. As some of you know, he had called me on New Years Day to tell me he had lung cancer. I got word last Wednesday that he was being moved from the ER to hospice. Early Thursday morning, he passed away. I am devastated! The whole family is. I thought he might not last long but I never dreamed he would go so quickly. How do you say, "Good-bye," when you haven't seen your brother for a few years and then you are not even there to tell him you love him? 

I am grieving for my brother. His son who lives in Victoria, BC could not attend the service nor could anyone else in the family. My oldest son, who lives here on PEI, I named after my brother, and he is devastated as well. My other boys live in British Columbia and Michigan. None of us could attend. It is hard to lose your loved one at any time but right now, with the coronavirus making its rounds, it is so much harder because we have to stay put. 
Dennis was too young to go so soon. I am trying to cope as best I can under the circumstances. I'm just so terribly sad. Please pray for my family, especially his wife, Marsha, and his son, Chris.

My tea time today is one I posted some time ago but I know you will understand. I'm not up to taking pictures at the moment. I hope you enjoy it.

Spring would not be spring without bird songs. ~ Francis M. Chapman

Knowing the weather will eventually turn warmer, I am setting my table with blue and white. Those colours echo the colours of the sea and the sky which are predominant when you live on an island.

These striped napkins I got from Avon and they go perfectly with my blue and white china. I also have these adorable bird napkin rings. 

Now you know my theme for today.

Soon the birdies will be building their nests. As you might have guessed, I love the wee bird's nest my son found for me!
The very sight of a teapot puts a smile on the face of most people. One cannot help but think of more serene and genteel times. ~ Barbara Roberts

I used a variety of blue transferware for my tea table. Johnson Brothers Devon Cottage, JB Old Britain Castles, and Churchill Victorian Calico.

Tradition gives us a sense of solidarity and roots,
a knowing there are some things one can count on. ~ Gloria Gaither

Every afternoon we enjoy our refreshment, be it tea or coffee, between two and three o'clock. It is a tradition here in my home and oftentimes it is taken without a treat of any kind although Hubby prefers a sweet. Personally, I prefer a little tea sandwich. It is just lovely to sit in a cozy room and have that time to relax and a little chat. Do you set aside a time for tea?

Thank you dear friends for stopping by for a visit. It's lovely having you! Do take care of yourselves and stay well out there. The Lord bless you all!

Friendship is a word the very sight of which in print makes the heart warm. ~ Augustine Birrel

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Tea Things Tuesday

That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs. ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea

Hello dear friends! I pray this finds you all safe and well. I have been sick the past two weeks with the flu and it has left me very tired and weaker than usual. But I wanted to share a post with you. Perhaps it will brighten your day.

I heard a song sparrow outside my window and it made me smile. Spring is indeed here. In my backyard, I watched a robin hopping about looking for food, a junko was pecking away at some loose seeds on the ground and the chickadees were busy at the feeder. Earlier this morning Hubby and I saw a fluffy red fox sniffing his way along the edge of our backyard. We hadn't seen one in a while so it was wonderful to see him out there as well. Nature is going about its business and has no idea that the humans are isolating themselves in their homes and trying to stay well. But seeing all the wildlife outside my window this morning made me happy and for a few minutes, I was able to forget that our world is in turmoil.

Outside the front window, a mom and her little guy were walking by. Well, she was walking, he was on his wee bike with training wheels. It's nice to see life outside my window. I haven't left the house in over two weeks.

Whatsoever things are lovely ... think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

I was looking through my pictures and came across these that I had shared several years ago for one of my many tea parties. So, I thought I would share them with you today. I hope you enjoy them.

A red eyed vireo's nest which my son found me years ago. It had been abandoned so he brought it home to me.

Pink and yellow tulips bring a touch of spring on the table.

A vanilla cupcake with fancy icing topped with lemon curd and one of my Avon birdies which I have had for years. The sweet birdhouse in the background is one my youngest son gifted me with for my birthday one year. 

The goldfinch is my favourite bird.

My signature pattern, Rose Chintz, by Johnson Brothers holds many fond memories of my childhood, when my auntie used to set her table with them. 

The beautiful Serena trio by Royal Albert. 

Raisin spice scones with almond glaze and cream cheese and cucumber tea sandwiches.

Whipped cream for your scones served in a lovely pink sherbet.

Homemade raspberry jam.

The bluejays are coming out again after the long winter.

The robin with his bright red breast.

One must have a teapot so I took down my Victorian Bird teapot

Milk or sugar for your tea? I take mine black.

If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited it will calm you. ~ William Ewart Gladstone

Are you sipping many cups of tea these days? 

Before I got hit with the flu bug, I had baked cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip-peanut butter cookies, and bran muffins because our grandson was flying home for March break. Sadly, I didn't get to see him except on a video call. 
Hubby took the treats over and set them on the doorstep. Our grandson came out and stood on the step to talk to his grandfather for a few minutes while his Papa stood by the car. No hugs, just big smiles and thankful hearts that they could at least talk to one another from a safe distance. Our grandson flew back yesterday. These are sad times! Our family is a family of huggers and the hugs will have to wait until it is safe again.
My handsome grandson. He is just as sweet as he looks too.

Speaking of the treats I made, Hubby had cut back on sugar so I wasn't doing much baking lately. But I wanted to bless our son and his family with the treats. This is all there is left once the treats were delivered to my son and Hubby helped himself. The jar had been full of muffins, the cookies filled the container, and there were enough cinnamon rolls to fill another jar. 

Mind you, I still have a few cookies in the freezer yet. But when the hubby is home, he snacks! What can I do? Did you know that chocolate makes you happy? It can change your mood and makes you happy. It has antioxidants. So we won't begrudge him a few cookies, will we? Especially right now. I think by the time this is all over, many of us won't fit into our jeans quite as well as we did.

Today it's snowing again, but Spring is here, and hopefully all of these strange times will be behind us soon. There is a lot of prayer going up these days and God is still on the throne. May He watch over you and your loved ones! Until next time, do take care.

Sharing from my heart
~ Sandi

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Spring-ing Up the Mantel

I don't know what lies around the bend in the road but I'm going to believe the best does. ~ LM Montgomery

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Hope you all enjoy a little green today.

My photo above is from a Tea Time Tuesday post several years ago.

I have been down with the flu for over a week and there is no sign of it going yet. I did manage to take a few pictures of my Spring mantel so I will share some of those today.
My finished wreath

Little birdie on the mantel

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass so fresh and sweet;
For song of bird and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear and see,
Father in heaven, 
we thank Thee!  
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder. ~ unknown

The little bird's nest is one my son found me several years ago. It was abandoned and the eggs are Easter eggs. I love bringing the nest out this time of year!

Sorry the reflection isn't great and the closeups show the cords, but you get the idea.

Please take care, my dear friends. In these troubled times, let your mind dwell on lovely things {Philippians 4:8}. We all need to take good care of ourselves and stay positive. Thank God for your family, your friends, and your blessings. Stay safe!

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~ Corrie ten Boom

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Tea Things Tuesday

May the friendships you make,
Be those which endure,
And all of your grey clouds
Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him
To Whom we all pray,
May a song fill your heart,

Every step of the way. ~ Irish blessing

Hello dear friends and welcome to this week's Tea Things Tuesday! Next Tuesday, St Patrick's Day will be here so I decided to share some green today because I want to concentrate on Spring next week.

I adore transferware and my favourite is red and white as most of you know but I like blue and white and green and white too. One Christmas my hubby gifted me these lovely green transferware cups and saucers and dessert plates. The green and white is hard to find so I was thrilled to receive these!

Tea is instant wisdom, just add water. ~ Astrid Alauda

I love the pastoral scenes on this transferware. It is totally charming, don't you think?
I usually make an Irish tea cake every March but no cake this year because Hubby is trying to cut down on sugar. This photo of the Irish tea cake is served with strawberries and whipped cream.  

The teapot is one I have had for years. It has no marker on it but it is sporting a green lacy motif. It holds about two to three cups of tea.

My youngest son had visited the botanical gardens in Michigan a few years ago and he chose this Claddagh cup for me. Hubby likes it a lot because he is half Irish. It is a unique cup with a large handle for holding.

I know you Irish ladies will appreciate this cup!

The last few days I have been decorating my mantel for springtime and this is a wreath I'm working on. I'm basically just getting started but I will share next week, the finished mantel all decked out.

Today is a special day. My sweet Auntie P is celebrating her birthday. I imagine her family will treat her to dinner and presents. She is 84 years young and her granddaughter takes her out several times a week for a drive and lunch. The photo below is one of Auntie visiting a Fairy Garden last summer. She is enjoying her outings and I pray that she is able to enjoy them for a long time to come.
Happy Birthday, Auntie! You are loved! 

I hope you have enjoyed my green tea things today and I do hope your week is lovely. May showers of blessings pour down upon you and your loved ones this week!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi