Wednesday, May 16, 2018

12th Tea Cup Exchange

I have been participating in Stephanie's Teacup Exchanges for several years now, and it is truly a rich delight to enjoy both giving and receiving a tea package, and then to see what other ladies have given and received as well!  The greatest highlight of these exchanges is the sweet friendships that evolve because of the gifts that have been given and received! 

I received the most incredible package from Mary.  She does not have a blog, but tells me that she does like to visit blogs and even had visited my blog before, what a coincidence!  She sent me the most thoughtful and beautifully packaged box, oh my, it was pure delight to open it!

The box had the cutest little teacup stickers all over it, just a hint of the delights inside.

Each beautiful item so prettily wrapped and packaged in pinks and greens!  Oh the delights of wonderful
flavors of green tea (my favorite) and biscotti, a new flavor I had not had before too! 

This Chcolate Super Berry Burst tea smelled SO good... even without unwrapping the package, and it was wrapped so prettily with pink ribbon!

Mary sent the sweetest handwritten card, oh I just loved it!  I enjoyed reading her notes about herself, and getting to know her better...look at this card, isn't it the cutest with her name on it! 

Look at this darling tea strainer!  I do love to drink loose leaf tea, and dry my own raspberry leaves to make tea as well, so this is just a delight to have! It is amazing how each special thing Mary sent was just perfect for me :) 

And stamps!  Mary knows I love to stamp and make cards, and she sent me these two stamps with the sayings "Sending cheerful thoughts your way" and "Just to say Hello"... aren't they the cutest! 

It seemed like the package Mary sent kept giving and giving... this powerful book was photographed and written by a local Christian photographer in Mary's community, and its powerful images captivated my heart. 

Mary writes that this photographer likes to photograph using black and white photos, and truly amazing heartfelt pictures were included, but most of all, each photo was graced with a scripture... oh my, just a beautiful book that I will treasure always! 

Inside the sweetest floral box was this gorgeous teacup! I do not have a teacup like this one at all, it is stunning!  

I just love the beautiful rich colors of this teacup with the gold edging... in perfect condition... oh I couldn't wait to brew up a pot of green tea, and enjoy the biscotti... but wait,  there was more! 

Yes, sweet Mary included not one, but two little books to enjoy at tea time!  This Tea for Two book was
full of sweet anecdotes about teatime, and included stories about how tea became so fashionable, little tea quotes, thoughts and recipes too!  

Truly a joyous delight to savor with my tea!

Ahh... what delight!  A new teacup, a new tea flavor, and a raspberry chocolate biscotti...
as I sat down to savor and enjoy the new delights that had been delivered to me, I felt so thankful for this beautiful tea exchange, and the sweet surprise and joy that it delivers to each participant.  

I had so much fun putting together this package for Lynn!  She told me she liked to scrapbook and make cards, and that she loved all things pink and blue, so I went with a pink and turquoise blue theme and included some fun items from the Pioneer Woman, including a magazine, teapot-shaped salt and pepper shakers and her magazine.   

I spotted this teacup at a local store, and thought it would be perfect for Lynn... She tells me it was :) 

I packaged all of Lynn's gifts into this box, it was perfect for holding all of the little goodies that I sent to her. Lynn sent a handwritten thank you back to me (as she doesn't have a blog) about how thankful she was to receive the tea package, and she wrote me the nicest letter!  Beautiful handwriting, and it was just so nice to sit and read her letter, and learn more about her.  
Thank you again to both my sweet new friends Mary and Lynn for the delights of meeting and getting to know you better through this tea exchange.. I know that neither of you have a blog, but I hope to continue to communicate with you through "snail mail", really the loveliest form of mail there is!

This tea exchange is so much fun in every way, but I think the thing I cherish most about the exchange is the making of new friendships along the way! Each lady I've exchanged with through the years has become a dear friend to me, and it is amazing how this way of exchanging love through teacups and mugs really becomes a greater blessing. 

Thanks again to sweet Stephanie for organizing and putting together such an incredible exchange... I cannot imagine the hours that are spent organizing and sending out emails, and just the time of it all.  I sent sweet Stephanie a thank you gift, as I think it is always good etiquette to thank any hostess for her time and efforts in some way.  I appreciate the love and care that she puts forth, and want her to know and feel that appreciation. 

In the heat of the afternoon, as spring has fallen by the wayside, and summer has somehow slipped into the front row, I have been quite busy getting my garden back into working order after the long winter.  It seems I spend most of my waking hours outdoors enjoying the beautiful days.  Our wildflowers have not yet begun to bloom, yet the tulip blooms are fading ... and it seems that while spring has come and gone, quite quickly... the warmth of summer days are here. 

I promised a post soon about our visit to Canada with my parents, and the celebration of our son's graduation... and I hope to get that up within a few days.  Hugs and blessings to all :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spring is Here!

Oh, the delight-filled days of spring!  They have arrived... mixed in with days of cloud and rain, but in the last week or two, we have seen days with temps in the 80s! Spring yard duties have called me outdoors, and I've not spent much time inside, working in the yard and garden.  Today I have found some time inside as spring rains are pouring down outside so that I can share some pictures from the past month with you. 

These purple beauties were the among the first flowers in my garden to
lift their faces to the sun. 

Our son turned 20 years old, leaving behind the teenage years forever.  It feels strange to
no longer have a teenager in the house!

A new foal born to our neighbor is standing with its mother against the glorious sunset backdrop. 

You can see in the earlier picture that they were quite a distance away from us.  However, the kind mother brought her little filly right
up to the fence to meet us!  What a delight that was! 

She was the cutest little thing, all legs, and not quite sure of herself.  In this photo, she was only 4 days old. 

Seeing this sweet baby girl almost made me want to have a horse, but I had to rein myself in because they don't
stay babies long, lol! 

Glorious sunsets in the evening.  I enjoy walking at sunset, as the land is still and quiet, and I love listening to the gentle rustle of the trees and sweet chirps of the birds and turkeys as they bed down for the night. 

We had some chicken drama here this past month as well.  Mr. Pepper must have broken his beak somehow in a fight with the other rooster, Mr. Sal.  Because he was unable to eat, he became weak and lost his throneship.  Mr. Sal took over Mr. Pepper's duties quite gladly, and a sad and dejected Mr. Pepper now follows me around the yard. You can see his broken beak.  I researched how to help him, and discovered that their beaks are like fingernails and can be clipped.  So I did a little surgery on Mr. Pepper, removing his lower beak carefully until they were closer in size.  He now can eat, but remains the underdog, for now. 
It felt great to hang clothes out on the line for the first time this season!  My wool sweater has been folded
and put away for now.  Spring/summer weather is here to stay :) 

A day trip with a friend of mine along the river was enjoyed immensely.  The sunshine was brilliant, with not a
cloud in the sky, and the distant snow-capped mountains added the perfect touch to every view. 

A train cheered at us as it steamed along its own path down the river. 

Great views from every bend in the road had us stopping and getting out of the car quite frequently. 

We walked across this pedestrian bridge that crosses the river.  The rush and force of the spring run-off water below
us was incredible to see. 
An osprey had built a nest atop the bridge and kept a vigilant gaze upon us as we walked underneath.  

My garden journal has been updated for the last year of gardening and is prepared and ready for this season of gardening. 

I use a cheap journal notebook, embellish it, and keep track of all my efforts in the garden. It is helpful to look
back and remember when I planted certain bushes and trees as well.  

I keep track of which seed companies I use, how well the seeds produced, and any other tidbits of information that
might be helpful in years to come. 

Another of the early bloomers in my garden, these purple hyacinths were a fragrant gorgeous addition
to the garden just waking up from its long winter naptime.  
Both our children are graduating from college this spring, and my parents are here visiting and to celebrate with us.  I plan to share another post soon with pictures from our trip to Canada, and the graduation.  :)

I hope you are all having a blessed and beautiful springtime... we are enjoying the flowers, the blooms, and the bright greens of spring... because we have already seen that summer's heat is hovering near at hand.  We are enjoying the spring days as much as we possibly can :)